Intended to protect consumers from unfair practices, the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA) is being twisted by plaintiffs’ attorneys to file huge lawsuits over superficial issues — such as having too much air in a food package.
This is due to amendments and court decisions eroding the law over the years, allowing lawyers to recruit supposedly defrauded clients for consumer lawsuits and opening the door for private lawsuits to seek punitive damages, attorneys’ fees and monstrous class actions.
Among many legal reforms the Missouri Chamber is supporting this year, we are working to restore the MMPA to its original intent.
Senate Bill 727 would help end these exploitive, cash-grab lawsuits in Missouri, freeing up more court time and resources for legitimate cases. It would also help keep product prices low for consumers because businesses would no longer have to fund costly legal defenses against these frivolous lawsuits.
“Senate Bill 727 will restore integrity to the MMPA by considering objective measures to determine actual damages and reign in attorneys’ fees that bear no reasonable relationship to the actual amount of damages suffered,” said Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, the bill sponsor and a 2019 Missouri Chamber Business Champion.
The Missouri Chamber testified in support at the bill’s Senate committee hearing on Feb. 4.
“We support the reasonable consumer standard that is being implemented in the bill, and the reliance on the actual fraud or misleading of the consumer,” said Matt Panik, Missouri Chamber vice president of governmental affairs. “We think these are reasonable approaches that are much needed to reform the MMPA and get it back to what it was originally intended to do.”
Questions about the MMPA? Contact Matt at (573) 634-3511 or email@example.com.