Governor Parson Signs SB 591 Regarding Punitive Damages and Unlawful Merchandising Practices

Today, Governor Mike Parson signed SB 591 modifying provisions relating to civil actions, including punitive damages and unlawful merchandising practices. SB 591 raises the standard for punitive damages, providing that punitive damages can only be awarded if the plaintiff proves by “clear and convincing evidence” that the defendant intentionally harmed the plaintiff without just cause or acted with deliberate and flagrant disregard for the safety of others. In addition to punitive damage provisions, SB 591 restores integrity in the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act by considering objective measures to determine actual damages and rein in attorneys’ fees. The legislation also gives consumers a choice between accepting an express warranty and waiving the warranty in lieu of filing a claim under the MMPA.

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