The State Senate has wrapped up four days of debate on a civil justice reform bill, giving final approval to the idea. The legislation addresses some of the key concerns of both the medical and business communities, including so-called venue shopping – the practice of trial lawyers having cases moved to St. Louis or Kansas City where juries in civil trials tend to side with plaintiffs and often award huge damage amounts. The Senate version must be reconciled with the version passed by the House before the bill can be sent to Governor Bob Holden. Holden vetoed a tort reform effort last year. The business community is pleased with the Senate’s action, but Missouri Chamber of Commerce President Dan Mehan believes it’s but a good first step. He adds there is still a long way to go before substantive tort reform is secured.
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