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Tort Reform Action Center

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What is tort reform?

In short, tort reform is the practice of improving laws that govern personal injury litigation. More specifically, tort reform aims to adequately balance an individual's or entity's right to seek and receive damages from a party that has committed an act that results in injury or harm to another party. That act is referred to as a tort.

When substantive tort reform is passed in a given state, the climate for the insurance industry and business as a whole is generally improved, and premiums reflect that. But tort reform can be difficult to pass via legislation in a state. There are those, particularly trial attorneys, that would have citizens believe that tort reform is aimed at chipping away or completely taking away an individual's right to recover damage payments after being injured due to the negligence of another party. Nothing could be further from the truth!! The tort reform we seek balances the two sides of that equation, allowing injured parties to recover damages while allowing for a legal environment in which insurance companies can operate and expect a fair profit.

Agent participation in achieving substantive tort reform is absolutely necessary. In the end, we don't cast the votes to pass legislation. Only elected legislators do. As such, it's important that legislators know that their constituents want substantive tort reform to become law as a way to keep insurance both available and affordable in Missouri. So, agents need to be involved in the legislative process by contacting their elected senator and representative and explaining why tort reform is needed, and urging them to cast votes in favor of such. Even more effective, regularly attend MAIA's Day at the Capitol and speak with your respective legislators in person. This year's event takes place March 5, and more information can be found here. The event is free to MAIA members and is an opportune time to visit with legislators.

Agents should also contribute to MAIA’s political action committees (PACs). Links to both our state and federal PAC are on this page. Contribute today if you care about improving the insurance industry in Missouri.

Below is a letter that agents can send to their legislators urging them to support tort reform measures.

Agent Letter

So, what are the legislative bills filed this session that would help to improve the litigation landscape in Missouri? Of the hundreds and hundreds of bills filed every session, very few actually pertain to tort reform. But MAIA has made it easy for you to track those bills on this page. What is the bill number? Who sponsors it? What would it do? Is it making progress? Find that in our bill tracking section below.

Okay, so now that you want to contact your legislators, who are they anyway? Great question! Enter your address here to find out who your Missouri state senator and representative are. Then reach out to their offices.

 Quesitons about tort reform?

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Matt Barton

Chief Executive Officer

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TortReformPageSpacerCS.jpeg Senate Bills

SB831Eigel, Bill -  Extends the statute of limitations for certain civil actions relating to sexual crimes

SB853Luetkemeyer, Tony - Modifies provisions relating to statute of limitations

SB903Schroer, Nick - Modifies provisions relating to settlement demands to liability insurers

SB977Trent, Curtis - Prohibits the funding of legal actions by foreign individuals and legal entities

SB987Coleman, Mary Elizabeth - Provides that parties or attorneys in a civil action with a jury shall not make reference to specific dollar amounts or ranges of awards for noneconomic damages

SB989Carter, JillProvides that individuals shall not be held civilly liable for damages resulting from self-defense actions justified by law

SB1201Trent, Curtis - Establishes provisions relating to double recovery of civil damages from a defendant and an insurer

House Bills

HB1404Billington, HardyLowers the statute of limitations from five years to three for certain actions

HB1964Riley, AlexModifies the statute of limitations for personal injury claims from five years to two years

HB1965Riley, Alex - Modifies provisions relating to the collateral source rule

HB1966Riley, AlexModifies provisions relating to actions for damages due to exposure to asbestos

HB2277Hardwick, Bill - Modifies provisions relating to settlement demands