Current RSMo 537.762, often referred to as the Innocent Seller's Statute, provides in part, that an order of dismissal as to a "defendant whose liability is based solely on his status as a seller in the stream of commerce" does not "divest a court of venue or jurisdiction otherwise proper at the time the action was commenced" and that "[a]n order of dismissal under this section shall be interlocutory until final disposition...." These provisions allowing for cases to be heard in Circuits that would not otherwise be appropriate are currently the subject of Senate Bill 792. SB 792 seeks to strike subsections 6 and 7 from RSMo 537.762. The practical effect which would be to allow defendants to remove cases to federal court or seek to transfer venue where "innocent sellers" were added for the purposes of eliminating diversity jurisdiction or establishing venue in a particular county. This bill, proposed by Senator Ron Richard (R), is current on the "for perfection" Senate calendar. It is the same as SB487, which was proposed in 2015.
Tim West, LAKC Board of Directors
MO Legislative Monitor