Senate committee considers MMPA reforms

The Missouri Merchandising Practices Act is an important law that helps protect consumers from fraud. However, since the law was passed in the 1960s, legislative amendments and judicial interpretations have distorted its purpose, leading to speculative claims and rising costs to businesses.

Sen. Ron Richard, a Republican from Joplin, has proposed Senate Bill 487 to address this problem. Sen. Richard’s bill contains several reforms to the existing law that will ensure consumers are protected while discouraging trail attorneys from filing frivolous claims under the MMPA.

A Senate committee that discusses legal issues heard testimony on the bill on April 14. As Sen. Richard presented his proposal, he noted several recent cases that have been filed under the MMPA.

“These lawsuits have little or no impact on society but are costing businesses hundreds of millions of dollars,” he said.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the American Tort Reform Association have been strong supporters of revising Missouri’s MMPA statute.

“I believe this change will discourage speculative claims,” said retired judge John Gray, who testified on behalf of the American Tort Reform Association.

Jay Atkins, a registered lobbyist for the Missouri Chamber, also testified in favor of Senate Bill 487.

“In practice today, the MMPA promotes costly and sometimes far-fetched lawsuits that do nothing but burden the legal system and create costs for the business community,” said Atkins. “With this legislation we are seeking to return Missouri’s MMPA to its original mission.”

For more information, contact Atkins at jatkins@mochamber.com.

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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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