The Missouri legislature passed Mo. Rev. Stat. § 510.261 in 2020. The statute aimed to limit the frequency and sum of punitive awards. In advance of this aim, Mo. Rev. Stat. § 510.261.5 states that “[n]o initial pleading in a civil action shall contain a punitive damage award.” The section goes on to establish that the trial court must serve as a gatekeeper, granting plaintiffs leave of court to plead punitive damages only after a plaintiff shows “a reasonable basis for recovery of punitive damages” through “affidavits, exhibits, or discovery materials.”
Earlier this year, RDM member Nate Lindsey wrote about the ins and outs of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). Enacted in 2008, BIPA allows individuals to make a claim against private entities that collect biometric data without first creating a publicly available policy on the data’s retention and destruction, obtaining the individual’s consent, and using reasonable care to protect the information gathered.
On January 12th, 2021, the Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court ruling against Liberty Insurance Corporation, finding it liable for the $7.5 million remaining balance of a wrongful death judgment. The case provides important lessons for insurers on how to avoid being bound to substantial judgments against their insureds, even where viable policy exclusions exist.
On November 3rd, 2020, the Missouri Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from Johnson & Johnson, letting stand a decision which affirmed a $2.2 billion jury verdict against the consumer giant.
A new trend relating to COVID-19 lawsuits is emerging. Employers are now facing lawsuits for “Take Home” infections.