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September 15, 2014

U.S. Chamber: Missouri Supreme Court Punitive Damages Ruling “Outside the Mainstream”

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), made the following comment about last week’s Missouri Supreme Court ruling striking down the state’s cap on punitive damages:

“Missouri’s Supreme Court ruling puts the Show-Me State outside the mainstream of states seeking to guard against runaway punitive damages awards. Virtually every other state court that has considered this issue has stood by states’ ability to place reasonable bounds on such awards.

“Statutory limits provide greater predictability and certainty in litigation, eliminate outlier verdicts, and avoid constitutionally excessive awards. That’s why many states have adopted statutory limits to promote a more stable legal climate.

“The Missouri Supreme Court’s ruling signals that the state’s lawsuit environment is headed down the wrong path.”

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.

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