Missouri Business Headlines

Punitive damages reform gains committee approval

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A Senate committee has voted on an important reform intended to halt the overuse of punitive damages in Missouri lawsuits.

Punitive damages were once rarely used. But today filing for punitive damages, “seems to often be a standard practice in certain types of lawsuits,” said bill sponsor Sen. Bill White, a Republican from Joplin.

Sen. White’s Senate Bill 65 would address this problem. On Feb. 12, the Senate Government Reform Committee voted 5-1 in favor of reforming punitive damages in Missouri.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry will continue to advocate for the bill to become law.

“It’s clear that punitive damages are being overused in Missouri. This is part of the reason why our state continues to rate poorly in national legal climate comparisons,” said Matt Panik, Missouri Chamber vice president of governmental affairs. “I’d like to thank the Senate Government Reform Committee for supporting this legislation. It’s time that Missouri addresses this issue so that we can continue to improve our business climate.”

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