Missouri Business Headlines

$1.6 billion each year — The cost of failing to enact legal climate reform

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A new study highlights the extreme costs associated with Missouri’s litigation climate and underscores the need for the state’s general assembly to pass meaningful reforms this session.

The Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse studied the economic impact of Missouri’s current litigation climate. Among the study’s findings were that Missouri courtrooms, which are nationally recognized for being slanted against the business community, cost the state $1.6 billion each year. The situation also depresses our state output by $2.5 billion and has killed more than 26,500 jobs. Furthermore, the legal climate exacerbates the state’s tight budget by reducing revenues by $127.1 million. Local governments are also feeling the pinch, as the flawed judicial system costs them $108.5 million in annual revenues.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry will advocate for statute changes during the 2019 Legislative Session that will balance our court system and end our state’s outlier status. This includes venue reform to stop out-of-state plaintiffs from transferring cases to Missouri in the hopes of winning huge judgments, a practice that slows progress on Missouri-based cases.

“This new study shows that Missouri must act on legal climate reform. It should be troubling to every Missourian that our state is losing hundreds of millions of dollars every additional month we delay addressing this problem,” said Daniel P. Mehan, Missouri Chamber president and CEO. “Fixing our unfair legal climate will be the top item on our legislative agenda in 2019.”

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