Missouri Business Headlines

Senate votes to stop opportunistic COVID-19 lawsuits

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The Missouri Senate has perfected critically-needed legislation to protect Missouri employers from a growing wave of COVID-19 exposure lawsuits.

Since March, more than 1,000 COVID-19 lawsuits have been filed against employers across the nation. In response, many states — including all but one of Missouri’s neighboring states — have enacted some form of protection against these lawsuits. However, Missouri businesses remain exposed to opportunistic COVID-19 litigation. Since April, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry has been leading the call for action on this issue. Nearly 800 businesses and individuals have joined the Missouri Chamber in asking legislation to fix this growing problem.

The legislation in the Senate, Senate Bill 51, is sponsored by Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, a Republican from Parkville. Sen. Bill White, a Republican from Joplin, has also championed this issue by sponsoring a COVID-19 liability bill that was combined with Sen. Luetkemeyer’s bill in the Senate.

This legislation is vital to Missouri’s economic recovery and the Missouri Chamber is urging lawmakers to pass this bill as soon as possible.

“Passage of this bill is essential to protect Missouri employers from opportunistic COVID-19 lawsuits. Today, Missouri employers are extremely vulnerable to lawsuits alleging someone was exposed to COVID-19 on their premises,” said Daniel P. Mehan, president and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “The threat of COVID-19 litigation looms over every employer in Missouri and hurts our state’s ability to recover from the pandemic. We regularly hear from employers that they are reluctant to reopen and return to work knowing they could be exposed to frivolous lawsuits. This is the Missouri Chamber’s top priority this session and we urge lawmakers to pass this much-needed legislation as soon as possible.”

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