Senate Bill 591 revises Missouri’s Merchandising Practices Act
SB 591, which applies to all cases filed on or after August 28, 2020, adds various components to the Merchandising Practices Act (i.e., Missouri’s consumer protection law).
Reasonable Consumer Requirement
Under the revised statute, a plaintiff-consumer must establish that he or she “acted as a reasonable consumer would in light of all circumstances.” There was no prior requirement applicable to the plaintiff-consumer as he or she only needed to prove they were, for example, misled (regardless of how reasonable or unreasonable their own actions were). A plaintiff-consumer must also now prove that the defendant’s act “would cause a reasonable person to enter into the transaction that resulted in the damages.” Finally, in a class action, the class representative(s) must prove they meet the reasonable consumer standard.
Attorney’s Fees in Class Action
The revised law requires class action attorney fees to “bear a reasonable relationship to the amount of a judgment.” Further, in a case in which the judgment grants equitable relief, “attorney’s fees shall be based on the amount of time reasonably expended.”