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Legislators consider tort reform in session’s second half

Tort reform will be under consideration as the Missouri Legislature kicks off the second half of its current session.

Missouri State Senator Bill White says one issue he wants addressed deals with punitive damages.

Punitive damages are typically awarded by the court when the defendant’s behavior is especially harmful.

“It doesn’t take anyone’s rights for anything,” White says, “but it changes the way you go for punitive damages.”

“One of the problems we’ve got is that a lot of attorneys have started filing immediately a punitive damages when they file a regular claim regardless of whether there is any fact or not to support it,” Sen. White states.

“That’s forcing people to settle for more money because no insurance policy covers punitive damages,” he continues. “It scares people.”

White says the bill, at this point, legislators have kept the bill simple and to the point:

“We’re just putting in an order saying you cannot file for punitive damages unless you have proof,” he says.

Tort law is the area of law that protects people from bad acts of others. When a person commits a tort, they violate civil law.


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