February 9, 2024 Less than a minute read

Missouri Chamber supports civil justice reform

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry supports a common-sense approach to reforming the statute of limitations for personal injury claims.

Current law allows up to five years to file a lawsuit in a personal injury case. HB 1964 from Rep. Alex Riley (R-Springfield) would lower that timeframe to two years.

“We want to create certainty within the legal system,” said Rep. Riley, adding that trials sometimes don’t take place until several years past the current five-year filing period. “Memories fade and evidence is lost over the longer timeframe. This will have disputes resolved much quicker.”

Twenty-five states currently have a two-year statute of limitations. Only three states (Maine, North Dakota and Minnesota) exceed Missouri’s five years. Neighboring states Illinois, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas and Kentucky all have two-year periods.

Medical malpractice claims already have a two-year statute of limitations in Missouri.

“Those are some of the most complex cases,” Rep. Riley said. “If malpractice cases are brought in two years, certainly other cases can be brought in that time.”

Heidi Geisbuhler Sutherland, director of legislative affairs for the Missouri Chamber, testified in favor of “bringing our statute of limitations in line with surrounding states and the rest of the country. This will help keep Missouri competitive in attracting and retaining businesses.”

For more information, contact Geisbuhler Sutherland at hsutherland@mochamber.com or 573-634-3511.

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