SB 487 - This act modifies provisions relating to civil actions brought under merchandising practices and products liability provisions of law.
CIVIL ACTIONS (Section 407.012-407.025) - In any civil action claiming an unlawful merchandising practice seeking actual damages, the courts shall be guided by the policies of the Federal Trade Commission and federal law exempting certain entities from provisions banning unlawful competition. In such civil actions, a person seeking to recover damages shall demonstrate that they acted reasonably, and they shall establish damages with a reasonable degree of certainty. Damages shall be measured as the person's out-of-pocket loss as set forth in this act. In order to recover such damages, the person shall prove that the unlawful practice caused him or her to enter into the transaction that resulted in the person being damaged. The court may award injunctive relief. No civil action may be brought under unlawful merchandising practices to recover damages for personal injury or death.
CLASS ACTIONS (Section 407.025) - In class action claims, only compensatory damages may be recovered. Further, each class member shall prove that the unlawful practice caused him or her to enter into the transaction that resulted in the class member being damaged. The court may not infer that damages proven to have been suffered by one or more class members were suffered by all class members. If awarded, attorney's fees shall bear a reasonable relationship to the amount of the judgment. An order permitting a class action shall specify certain items as set forth in this act.
Prior to an entry of judgment against a defendant, the court shall require each member of the class claiming to be entitled to monetary relief to submit a statement to the court requested a specific dollar amount. The amount of the judgment shall not exceed the sum of the money owed to each class member.
PRODUCTS LIABILITY (Sections 537.761-537.762) - In any suit brought under unlawful merchandising practices or products liability, plaintiffs may not join in one action if their claims are based on separate occurrences. In any products liability action in which a plaintiff alleges a design defect, the burden is on the plaintiff to prove that there was a safer alternative design and that the defect was a producing cause of the injury, damage, or death for which the plaintiff is seeking recovery.
Currently, a product liability order of dismissal shall not divest a court of venue or jurisdiction. Further, a defendant dismissed in a product liability claim shall remain a party to such action. This act repeals these provisions.
This act contains a severability clause.