Earlier this year the House passed HB2119, then some amendments to the bill and now the Senate has passed the perfected bill. Presuming this makes its way into law, I want to address what it does, in part. There is too much from the bill for one post.
510.259.10: This takes effect on August 28, 2018 and applies to pending cases. Certainly there will be litigation over that. The legislature does not address how the pleading standards above would apply to cases already on file where punitive damages were pled initially.
510.259.5: This section establishes a system similar to that in Kansas where an initial pleading cannot claim entitlement to punitive damages and punitive damages can only be plead if permitted by the Court. To obtain leave to assert punitive damages, movant must file a motion with evidence demonstrating a reasonable basis for punitive damages at least 120 days before the final pretrial conference. The rule requires that the Court rule on the motion within 45 days after hearing or, if no hearing, within 45 days after the opposition brief was filed.
Tim West, President, Board of Directors
MO Legislative Chair