My last post focused on bills seeking to change the joinder rules, but those bills also address venue so I want to update that post here and talk about a few other bills.
HB 461 essentially requires that venue be established as to each defendant in any petition alleging a tort. This was voted Do Pass (10-2) by the Special Committee on Litigation Reform and is set for hearing with the Legislative Oversight Committee on February 20 at 2pm.
SB 261 and SB 262 are the same and are set on the Senate’s Formal Calendar Bills for Perfection on February 20. Those bills would make changes to Missouri Supreme Court Rules 52.05 and 52.06.
SB 259 and HB 462 seek to make changes to Missouri Supreme Court Rules 52.12. 52.12 concerns the concept of joinder. Specially, these bills seek to add a subsection that states: “Venue. No person shall be allowed to intervene in any action in which a tort is alleged if that person could not independently establish jurisdiction and venue.” These bills were introduced by the same Representative and Senator that introduced HB 461 and SB 261 and SB 262.
These bills are on the same track meaning that HB 462 is set for hearing with the Legislative Oversight Committee on February 20 at 2pm and SB 259 is on the Senate’s Formal Calendar Bills for Perfection that same day.
SB 260 and HB 463 seek to amend Supreme Court Rule 51.01 to incorporate the changes in Rules 52.05, 52.06 and 52.12. This appears to be bootstrapping to ensure that 51.01 does not create an ambiguity. These bills are on the same path as those discussed above.
These bills are all attempting to do the same thing: make it harder to bring a lawsuit in Missouri. With that I guess it is not surprising who testified in favor and against the bills.
Testifying in favor were Representative Kolkmeyer; National Federation of Independent Business; Missouri Retailers Association; Missouri Grocers Association; Associated Industries of Missouri; Johnson & Johnson; Monsanto; The Doctors Company; Missouri Trucking Association; Missouri State Medical Association; Jay Atkins, KC Southern Railway; Missouri Petroleum Council; Washington University; Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Missouri Railroad Association; Phil Goldberg, American Tort Reform Association; Missouri Insurance Coalition; Kansas City Power & Light; and Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers.
Testifying against were Jeff Bauer, Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys and Jack Garvey.
Tim West, MO Legislative Monitor
LAKC Board of Directors