WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) today launched an online and television advertising campaign urging the Missouri legislature to take broad action to improve the state’s lawsuit climate.
“Missouri’s poor litigation environment benefits trial lawyers at the expense of small businesses and consumers,” said Lisa A. Rickard, president of ILR. “Fortunately, the state legislature now has a chance to put jobs and justice first.”
In partnership with the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, ILR will advocate for comprehensive legal reforms in the legislative session. Included will be:
- Modernizing the state’s expert testimony standards
- Ensuring that courts and juries properly consider accurate damage calculations
- Preventing plaintiffs’ lawyers shopping for favorable courts for out-of-state plaintiffs
- Making sure that parties in a lawsuit do not pay more than their fair share of financial responsibility
- Combatting “double dip” claims against asbestos bankruptcy trusts and in the tort system
- Restricting “bad faith” lawsuits against insurers who in good faith attempt to pay a claim
Missouri ranked number 42 out of 50 states in 2015 Lawsuit Climate Survey: Ranking the States, a survey of the 50 state lawsuit climates conducted by Harris Poll, representing an all-time low since the survey launched in 2002. Missouri also ranked below all eight states that it shares a border with in the survey, except for Illinois, which ranked number 48 out of 50.
In the survey, 75 percent of senior company attorneys surveyed said a state’s lawsuit environment is likely to impact important business decisions at their company, including where to locate or expand. That was an 18 percent increase from 2007, and an all-time high.
ILR seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the global, 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.