Missouri Business Headlines

Venue reform passed by Senate committee

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A Missouri Senate committee has endorsed a bill to bring venue and joinder reforms to our state and curb litigation abuse.

SB 7, sponsored by Sen. Ed Emery (R-Lamar), would clarify the state’s venue and joinder laws to ensure that cases are brought in the correct forum. The Senate Committee on Government Reform approved the bill 5-2 on Feb. 5.

Too often, plaintiffs with little or no connection to Missouri file cases in plaintiff-friendly St. Louis and Kansas City courts in hope of getting big settlements. This is clogging our judicial system, costing Missouri taxpayers and delaying justice for Missourians who have properly filed their cases. Missouri has been repeatedly listed as one of the worst Judicial Hellholes in the country due to the litigation hotspots caused by lax venue and joinder rules.

During the hearing on the bill, Sen. Emery cited court numbers that showed out of the 13,252 mass tort plaintiffs involved in cases being heard in St. Louis City, only 1,035 are Missouri residents.

“We’re clearly out of balance. Our courts are being used as the nation’s courtroom…Senate Bill 7 will put an end to this abuse,” Sen. Emery said.

The Missouri Chamber has held a longstanding position in support of these judicial reforms.

“We’d like to thank the Senate Committee on Government Reform for passing Senate Bill 7,” said Matt Panik, the Missouri Chamber’s vice president of governmental affairs. “This is a positive step forward for one of the business community’s top priorities this session.”

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