Governor Nixon signed Senate Bill 187 last week to protect Missouri's farm families from nuisance lawsuits -- another major victory in the eyes of members of the Missouri Farmers Care coalition.
Nixon released the following statement on Senate Bill 187, passed by the General Assembly and signed into law May 11:
"In my veto message on House Bill 209, I expressed my concerns about two provisions of the law: first, that it was too broad; and second, that it would have precluded the neighbors of nuisances relating to crop or animal production from obtaining punitive damages.
"Punitive damages are an important legal tool: they send a strong message to bad actors to clean up their act. Senate Bill 187 addresses both these concerns and as a result, has earned my signature."
Don Nikodim, chair of Missouri Farmers Care coalition, noted that "out-of-control junk lawsuits were threatening to put farmers out of business, costing us hundreds of jobs."
"We're proud that the legislature and Governor Nixon once again stood strong to protect Missouri's farmers" he said.
Senate Bill 187 places a cap on the size of monetary rewards in nuisance lawsuits brought against Missouri farms. The legislation also protects farms from multiple, repetitive lawsuits stemming from a single incident.
"Governor Nixon and our leaders in the General Assembly have made it clear that agriculture is a priority in Missouri," Nikodim concluded. "We're excited to have such strong partners in the effort to protect Missouri's family farmers."
Current members of Missouri Farmers Care include: Missouri Pork Association, Missouri Cattlemen's Association, Missouri Soybean Association, Missouri Corn Growers Association, Missouri Farm Bureau, MFA Inc., Missouri Beef Industry Council, Missouri Dairy Association, MO Federation of Animal Owners, Missouri Egg Council, Missouri Agribusiness Association, FCS Financial, Missouri Dairy Growth Council, Missouri Veterinary Medical Association, Cargill, Missouri Rural Electric Cooperatives, and Missouri Pet Breeders.
Sources: Missouri Governor's office and Missouri Farmers Care Coalition