Senate Committee Hears Bill to Limit Employee Lawsuit Awards
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Senate Committee Hears Bill to Limit Employee Lawsuit Awards

Date: March 1, 2011
By: Elizabeth Hagedorn
State Capitol Bureau
Links: SB 221 and SB 188

Intro: 
The Missouri Senate debated a bill Tuesday that would limit discrimination lawsuits against business employers.
RunTime:  0:29
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: The bill would place a cap on the damages state courts can be awarded in workplace lawsuits.

Earlier in the day, a Senate committee heard testimony from several attorneys on a similiar measure.

St. Louis attorney Dan O'Keefe says the bill is a necessary protection for small business owners.

The Senate committee did not vote an immediate on the measure, although the Senate gave first round approval to a similar measure the next day.

Reporting from Jefferson City, I'm Elizabeth Hagedorn.

Intro: 
The Missouri Senate extended debate action Tuesday on a bill limiting workers from suing their employers.
RunTime:  0:43
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: Earlier in the day, a Senate committee heard testimony for a similiar measure limiting discrimination lawsuits.

Shawn D'Abreu,a representative for PARAQUAD, an advocacy group for people with disabilities, says the bill unnecessarily protects large businesses too.

Actuality:  DAB3.WAV
Run Time:  00:14
Description: "Where is the justice then? If a person has proved their case that they have indeed been discriminated against  them, then why should a Fortune 500 company have their damages capped?"

On the other side, an attorney said the measure would keep limit the number of unnecessary lawsuits.

A few hours later, the Senate was unable to come to a vote on the issue.

Reporting from Jefferson City, I'm Elizabeth Hagedorn.

Intro: 
The Missouri Senate extended debate action Tuesday on a bill limiting workers from suing their employers.
RunTime:  0:47
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: The bill would place a cap on the damages state courts can award in workplace lawsuits.

Earlier in the day, a Senate committee heard testimony from several attorneys on a similiar measure.

St. Louis attorney Dan O'Keefe says without these caps, the state sees too many lawsuits.

Actuality:  OKEEFE1
Run Time:  00:13
Description: "Anyone with a protected characteristic whether it's their age, their race, their gender, or their religious affiliation and is terminated can essentially make a complaint that it was because of that reason and that person then gets a jury trial."

Representing the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys, Lynne Bratcher, says she trusts the justice system and finds the caps unnecessary.

Actuality:  BRCHR1.WAV
Run Time:  00:03
Description: "What I've seen in jury trials is that juries usually get it right."
 
A few hours later, the Senate was unable to come to a vote on the issue.
 
From the state capitol, I'm Elizabeth Hagedorn.


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