Missouri liberals’ efforts to work hand-in-hand with trial lawyers to fight Tort Reform in the state may finally be coming to an end, and not a moment too soon. Currently, the Missouri Senate is considering S.B. 5 which would modify the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MPA) so it no longer benefits these lawyers at the expense of consumers.
This bill deserves consideration and passage from the Senate because 31 other states, including 5 that border Missouri, have regulatory exemption language as part of their states’ consumer protection laws, and Show-Me State consumers deserve the same rights.
The current law has been nothing but a slush fund for trial lawyers, with a study from Emory University proving that they have taken advantage of the MPA to pursue frivolous lawsuits “that can actually hurt consumers” when the effects are passed on to them.
According to the Tiger Joyce, President for the American Tort Reform Association, the MPA does “more to enrich trial lawyers than it does to protect consumers.” She further criticized the current law for bringing “preposterous” lawsuits in Missouri:
“With plenty of help from ‘Show Me Your Lawsuits State’ judges, the personal injury bar has managed over the past few decades to corrupt and distort the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MPA) into an all-purpose tool for bringing a variety of lawsuits – many of them preposterous.”
SB 5 is a common sense bill that gives more rights to consumers and prevents trial lawyers from taking advantage of everyday Missourians. The Senate should take up this legislation and work to pass it so that the MPA can no longer put consumers in Missouri at a disadvantage.