SB 295
Establishes the Missouri Statutory Thresholds for Settlements Involving Minors Act
Sponsor:
LR Number:
1163S.04C
Last Action:
4/19/2021 - Informal Calendar S Bills for Perfection w/SCS
Journal Page:
Title:
SCS SB 295
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2021

Current Bill Summary

SCS/SB 295 - This act creates the "Missouri Statutory Thresholds for Settlements Involving Minors Act" which allows persons having legal custody over a minor to enter into settlement agreements with a person or entity against whom the minor has a claim if following requirements are met:

(1) A conservator or guardian ad litem has not been appointed for the minor;

(2) The total amount of the claim, including reimbursement of medical expenses, liens, reasonable attorneys' fees and costs, is $35,000 or less if paid in cash, by draft, or if paid by the purchase of a premium for an annuity;

(3) The moneys paid pursuant to the settlement follow the requirements of this act; and

(4) The person entering into the settlement agreement completes an affidavit or statement that attests that the person has made a reasonable inquiry and that the minor will be fully compensated by the settlement or that there is no practical way to obtain additional amounts from the person or entity.

The limit of $35,000 for the total amount of the claim shall be increased by inflation every five years beginning January 1, 2027. The affidavit or statement shall be maintained by the attorney representing the person entering into the settlement agreement on behalf of the minor for at least six years in accordance with the Missouri Supreme Court Rules of Professional Conduct.

As set forth in the act, the payments from the settlement agreement shall be deposited into a uniform transfer to minors account for the sole benefit of the minor, shall be paid by direct payment to a provider of an annuity with the minor as the sole beneficiary, or shall be paid into a trust account or trust subaccount established by the Children's Division of the Department of Social Services for those minors in the custody of the state. The moneys in the minor's saving account, trust account, or trust subaccount may not be withdrawn, removed, paid out, or transferred to any person, including the minor, unless pursuant to court order, the minor attains 18 years of age, at the direction of a duly appointed conservator, at the direction of the custodian for the uniform transfer to minors account, or upon the minor's death.

The signature of the person entering into the settlement agreement on behalf of the minor is binding on the minor without the need for further court approval or review and has the same force and effect as if the minor were a competent adult entering into the agreement.

This act provides that a person, including any insurer of a person, acting in good faith in entering into a settlement agreement on behalf of a minor pursuant to this act shall not be liable to the minor for the moneys paid in the settlement or for any other claims arising out of the settlement of the claim. Additionally, any person or entity against whom a minor has a claim that settles the claim with the minor in good faith pursuant to this act shall not be liable to the minor for any claims arising from the settlement of the claim.

The provision of current law regarding settlements contracted by a next friend, guardian ad litem or guardian or conservator shall not be construed as prohibiting settlements made pursuant to this act or as requiring court approval of settlements made pursuant to this act.

KATIE O'BRIEN

Amendments

No Amendments Found.