UPDATE: ILR sponsored this radio advertisement urging Missourians to call their legislators to support common-sense legal reform.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), made the following statement today about Missouri Governor Jay Nixon’s vetoes of bills to keep “junk science” out of state courts by adopting the federal standard governing expert witness testimony (SB 591) and to ensure that courts and juries properly consider accurate damage calculations (SB 847):“Governor Nixon’s vetoes of common-sense legal reforms will only help plaintiffs’ lawyers and further worsen the state’s already poor lawsuit climate. We urge the state legislature to override the vetoes. “These bills would limit frivolous and abusive litigation by ensuring that jurors receive accurate information on damages and reliable scientific evidence in Missouri’s courtrooms. “A national survey of the nation’s employers ranks Missouri’s lawsuit system 42nd out of 50. And Missouri voters understand their state has a lawsuit problem. In a Public Opinion Strategies survey last fall, 79 percent said the number of lawsuits in the state is a serious problem; 66 percent said its lawsuit system benefits plaintiffs’ lawyers most, while only six percent said the system helps victims. “We are disappointed that Governor Nixon declined to improve Missouri’s legal system and make the state a better place in which to do business.” ILR seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the national, state, and local levels. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.