First, the bad news: Missouri ranked 44 out of 50 in this year’s survey of the fifty state lawsuit climates.
The good news? This is an improvement from its ranking of 49 in 2017’s survey. What’s more, Missouri is on the verge of turning the corner for the better on its lawsuit climate because its legislature has made real reforms just this year.
While the Show-Me State is showing some improvement, more reform needs to be done. The state hasn’t escaped the bottom ten since 2012. It remains a haven for lawyers bringing lawsuits on behalf of out-of-state plaintiffs. St. Louis trial courts remain plaintiffs’ lawyers’ favorites—known for massive lawsuit verdicts and ridiculous class actions over things like the size of food packages.
The poor perception of Missouri’s legal climate is critical to strong business growth. A record-high 89 percent of survey participants—a mix of general counsel, senior litigators, and other executives—said a state’s lawsuit environment is likely to impact their company’s decisions about where to locate or expand.
The 2019 Lawsuit Climate Survey: Ranking the States is the 12th time The Harris Poll has conducted the survey since 2002 for the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform. The final results are based on interviews in-house general counsel, senior litigators or attorneys, and other senior executives at public and private companies with annual revenue of at least $100 million.
Read more about the survey here.