Sen. Jeanie Riddle’s Capitol Report for the Week of Jan. 22, 2018

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Protecting Missouri Businesses from Frivolous Lawsuits

Missouri is home to numerous businesses and manufacturing companies that create equipment and machinery used all over the world. Those businesses, big and small, make up the economic backbone of our state. For years, many of those businesses have come under attack by frivolous lawsuits. As a result of these attacks, I sponsored Senate Bill 596. This legislation gives individuals injured by a defective or unsafe product a 10 year window to file a lawsuit seeking damages against the company responsible for the products unsafe or defective condition. The 10-year time period begins once the product enters the marketplace or stream of commerce.

We all must agree that objects in our everyday lives cannot be expected to last forever, and as a result, we must not put an undue burden on our manufactures. A reasonable statue of repose is something that must be added to our laws if we expect Missouri to be a place that continues to attract manufacturing companies to our state.  To be clear, this legislation provides no protections for those companies that purposefully hide defective products, such as Takata, who recently pled guilty to knowingly selling defective airbags to automakers.

On Wednesday, Jan. 24, the legislation received a committee hearing before the Missouri Senate’s Government Reform Committee. The committee plans to vote on this common-sense, tort reform proposal in the coming weeks and I am confident it will receive their approval.

Other News

Gubernatorial Appointments

This week, I was proud to sponsor two individuals from our district who received the approval of the Missouri Senate to serve on one of the state’s many boards and commissions. James Reinhard of Paris, Missouri, received approval to serve on the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors. Steven Sellenriek of Jonesburg, Missouri, received approval to serve on the State Technical College of Missouri Board of Regents. I am proud of both of these individuals, and I know they will do an excellent job serving our state with honor and distinction.

Missouri has more than 200 boards and commissions. Unfortunately, many of these boards and commissions do not have enough members to properly function. If you are interested in possibly serving on one of our state’s boards and commissions, please visit the Missouri Boards and Commissions’ website and submit your resume to the governor indicating which one you feel most qualified to serve on.  Lending your knowledge and expertise helps boards function efficiently and produce results that benefit all Missourians.

It is an honor to be your State Senator and my door is always open to your concerns, questions or comments. Please feel free to contact me at (573) 751-2757 or visit my web page at