JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KCTV)
All eyes are on Gov. Eric Greitens’ investigation.
Not making headlines are smaller pieces of legislation that could have some real impacts. Those proposals are quietly and slowly working their way through Jefferson City.
One would limit the amount of time a person has to sue over a defective and dangerous product.
One sponsor calls this common sense and says frivolous lawsuits drive up the cost of business. Opponents say don’t kid yourself. This is a wink and nod to big business.
“If this law passes, I’m going to get a call and have to say you know what? Missouri politicians passed this law and there is no responsibility to this corporation after ten years. That’s crazy! There’s no logic or reason behind this,” attorney Kent Emison said.
Emison point to airbags and other dangerous products that are designed to last more than 10 years.
His client, Brett Adams, traveled to Jefferson City to speak out against the new legislation.
Adams’ daughter was killed in a terrible car crash. Adams and his legal team argue the guardrail designed to protect became a spear which killed Charity. They say the guardrail was defective by design.
“They are still out there! The average person listening to this has no idea they just drive by them every day. No one thinks something like this could happen to me,” Adams said.
Republican Sen. Jeanie Riddle sponsors the Senate version. She says Senate Bill 596 will stop frivolous lawsuits.
“This common-sense, tort reform proposal gives individuals injured by a defective or unsafe product a 10-year window to file a lawsuit. A reasonable statue of repose is something that must be added to our laws if we expect Missouri to be a place that continues to attract manufacturing companies to our state,” Riddle said.
Riddle points out about 20 states have similar statutes limiting lawsuits. She says the lack of such legislation drives up the cost of business and forces companies to move but declined to offer specific examples.
KCTV5 News is also keeping a closer eye on the volume of legislation that is being passed. Lawmakers have privately expressed they don’t want Greitens to hold and leverage over them as they head into special session.
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