Missouri Senate tackles product liability legislation

Should a company be punished because a customer used their product improperly?  Should a company be responsible for injuries caused by products being used for purposes they were not intended for?  These questions were addressed by the Senate Judiciary Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee while hearing Senate Bill 192, sponsored by Sen. Brian Munzlinger (R).

The bill would modify the laws regarding product liability claims. The act provides that the when it is determined that the harm was caused solely as a result of the plaintiff’s fault and not the manufacturer – then the defendant shall not be held liable for harm caused solely as a result of that user’s fault.

The bill goes on to define fault to include the use of the product in a manner inconsistent with a specification or standard applicable to the product, use of the product in a manner contrary to an instruction or warning, and use of the product in a manner determined to be improper by a federal or state agency

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry is in support of this bill in an effort to reduce the number of claims to Missouri businesses on products that have been misused or used for purposes which they were not intended for.

“SB 192 is a balanced approach to product liability reform that will protect Missouri businesses from unwarranted lawsuits while still protecting a consumer’s right to sue in cases where true defects in product design or safety exist,” Jay Atkins, Missouri Chamber general counsel/governmental affairs, said.  “Missouri businesses should be protected against lawsuits where the misuse of the product was the cause of the plaintiff’s injury.”

For more information about tort reform and product liability, please contact Jay Atkins at jatkins@mochamber.com or 573-634-3511.

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About mochamber

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry understands that the quality of life in our state depends on quality jobs for Missourians. To that end, we have one simple mission: to protect and advance Missouri business.

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