Governor signs law on punitive damages, merchandising act

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Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed into law reforms to the state’s punitive damages system, writes John Breslin for the St. Louis Record.

Governor Mike Parson signed into law changes to the legal make that was championed by business leaders and tort reform advocates.

Punitive damages will be awarded only if the plaintiff proves by “clear and convincing evidence that the defendant intentionally harmed the plaintiff without just cause or acted with a deliberate and flagrant disregard for the safety of other,” according language of SB 591.

Plaintiffs also cannot include a claim for punitive damages in an initial filing and must put forward some evidence before a judge will decide whether it can be added.

“Gov. Parson’s signature on S.B. 591 is a win for Missourians who suffer the effects of lawsuit abuse and sends a strong signal to those bad actors who would abuse the system ” Tiger Joyce, president of the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA), told the St. Louis Record in a statement.

Read more in the St. Louis Record

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