Post judgement interest rates and Second Injury Fund discussed in Senate

A bill was heard in the Senate Small Business, Insurance and Industry Committee On March 25 that would lower the interest rate on post-judgment interest from nine percent to five percent, potentially decreasing the amount of prolonged court cases.

Senate Bill 894, sponsored by Sen. Brian Munzlinger (R-Williamstown) would change the interest rate to five percent in non-tort judgments and would state that in all other judgments ordering money, post-judgment interest would be the adjusted rate of interest established by the Director of Revenue plus two percent, or the interest rate would be five percent, whichever is less.

The Missouri Chamber is supportive of this legislation.

“Having a high interest rate of nine percent can cause litigation to go on longer than it should,” Jay Atkins, general counsel for the Missouri Chamber, testified. “This bill doesn’t change anything fundamental about the law; it’s just a recalibration of the interest rate that already exists in law. When interest rates are out of sync with market rates it results in needlessly protracted litigation, which is expensive and inefficient for everyone.”

No action was taken on the bill.

A separate bill heard in the committee, Senate Bill 948, sponsored by Sen. Wayne Wallingford (R-Cape Girardeau), would allow the Division of Workers’ Compensation to continue to pay, on an ongoing basis, Second Injury Fund liabilities for physical rehabilitation payments; medical expenses for injuries to employees of uninsured employers occurring prior to January 1, 2014; and wage loss benefits for wages lost from secondary employment for injuries occurring prior to January 1, 2014, without regard to the priority of other fund liability payments.

The Missouri Chamber played a vital role in reforming the second injury fund in 2013 and is supportive of this legislation.

For more information about either issue, please contact Jay Atkins at jatkins@mochamber.com or by phone at 573-634-3511.

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