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Reform or reshuffle? Consequences of the 2005 Missouri Tort Reform Act.

I. INTRODUCTION

Spawned in an era of rising health care costs and bitterly fought political campaigns, the fevered pitch of Missouri's tort reform debate continues, (1) even after Missouri's version of tort reform became law in 2005. (2) In a July 2012 decision applauded by the plaintiffs' bar, (3) the Missouri Supreme Court struck down Missouri's non-economic medical malpractice damages cap as contrary to Missouri constitutional rights; (4) some Missouri legislators now favor a constitutional amendment to overrule the court. (5) Although Governor Nixon vetoed a new 2012 "reform" bill that favored defendants in human rights actions, (6) Missouri's Chamber of Commerce continues to rank that proposal at the top of its 2013 legislative agenda. (7) The Chamber also plans to advance 2013 proposals to entirely eliminate joint and several liability for tort damages (8) and "reform asbestos and silica litigation practices" to "prevent unwarranted claims." (9) Meanwhile, the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys works to "protect access to [Missouri's civil justice] system by advocating against caps on damages, systems that block access to the courts for certain types of lawsuits, and immunity for corporations or public entities when they have harmed someone." (10)

Reviews of Missouri tort reform to date are decidedly mixed. Personal injury attorneys, generally viewed as Democrats, (11) paint themselves as defenders of the most horribly injured plaintiffs whose constitutional rights are violated by statutory restrictions on what a jury is permitted to award (12) and who are disproportionately punished by damages caps. (13) Republican elected officials and "think tanks" along with reputedly Republican business interests claim victory: 2005 tort reform legislation has significantly improved Missouri's business climate and lowered both the number of personal injury claims filed and the cost of professional malpractice insurance. (14)

But both sides of the debate may be long on rhetoric and short on data. Has tort reform really improved Missouri's business and medical services climate--or not? Has tort reform really penalized the most severely injured plaintiffs and dampened others' appetites to pursue personal injury claims--or not? Has the elimination of "venue shopping" really affected the distribution and fairness of lawsuits throughout Missouri--or not? Has tort reform in the medical malpractice arena reduced the cost of health care--or not? Has Missouri's brand of tort reform "worked" to reduce frivolous lawsuits and outrageous jury awards, thereby improving Missouri's business climate, or does Missouri need more revolutionary changes? Or should Missouri revert towards its "old" version of tort law, a litigation environment believed to be fairer by consumer advocates, disability rights groups, and plaintiff's attorneys?

This Note attempts to answer these questions by comparing the history of claims filed for the periods preceding and following the August 28, 2005 effective date of Missouri's tort reform legislation. Part II of this Note discusses the history of tort reform efforts in general and particularly in Missouri. Part III analyzes key elements and impacts of Missouri's 2005 Tort Reform Act and notes related legislation and Missouri Supreme Court decisions subsequent to passage of that Act. Part IV summarizes the Act's impacts and draws other observations and conclusions from the analysis.

II. HISTORY

A. The Road to Tort Reform in Missouri

Missouri's United States Senator John C. Danforth fired a loud and locally-heard blast in the tort reform wars in May of 1988, when he "launched into a tirade on the senate floor against some lawyers who specialize in product-liability lawsuits." (15) Soon after, personal injury attorneys in Missouri and around the nation rallied around then-Attorney General Jeremiah "Jay" Nixon, Danforth's opponent in the 1988 Missouri senatorial race. (16) Nevertheless, Danforth was handily re-elected by the largest margin ever in a contested United States Senate election. (17) In 1989, Danforth and other Senators introduced a bill, supported by the United States Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, to reform product liability law and "speed the awarding of compensation to the victims of product-related injuries and ... maintain [the] competitive position [of U.S. companies] in world markets." (18) But, viciously attacked by consumer advocate Ralph Nader as "congressional malpractice" (19) and filibustering Senators, that bill and its younger siblings failed to become federal law. (20) Continuing failure at the federal level shifted the primary tort reform battlefield to the states while federal reform proposals continued to percolate. (21)

Missouri's tort reform combatants allied along much the same lines as in the federal arena, with Chambers of Commerce, doctors, and Republicans touting the benefits of tort reform while plaintiffs' attorneys, consumer advocates, and Democrats warned of tort reform's evils. (22) Two versions of Missouri tort reform failed in 2003 and 2004, when Democratic Governor Bob Holden vetoed bills passed by both houses of the Republican-controlled legislature. (23)

Then along came what tort reform opponents would call a perfect storm: in November 2004, Governor Holden, with 45 percent of the vote, was defeated in the Democratic primary by State Auditor Claire McCaskill. (24) McCaskill, with 48 percent of the vote, was then defeated in the general election by Republican Secretary of State Matt Blunt. (25) That defeat, coupled with continuing Republican retention of majorities in both legislative houses, gave Republicans control of both the legislature and the Governor's mansion for the first time in eight decades, (26) provoking turmoil in political fundraising circles. (27) And that historic convergence of Republican influence led the way, finally, to passage of Missouri's "Tort Reform Act" on March 16, 2005. (28)

Governor Blunt signed the Act two weeks later in a "leapfrog" across the state. (29) Attorneys seeking a plaintiff-friendly venue rushed to file tort claims in the City of St. Louis in time to beat the Act's effective date of August 28, 2005 and the end of venue-shopping as they knew it: 3,280 suits were filed in St. Louis City in August 2005, compared to the typical average of 400 per month.(30)

B. The Meaning of Tort Reform in Missouri

What is tort reform in Missouri?

As in other states, Missouri's tort reform initiative was intended to make Missouri more attractive to businesses of all types by reducing the likelihood of tort lawsuits, reducing the damages plaintiffs could collect for lawsuits that were nevertheless filed, and reducing the cost of liability insurance.

In 2005, the Missouri legislature meandered through a number of permutations of a law to address these goals, settling on a Senate version of House Bill 393, (31) now codified in various sections of the Revised Missouri Statutes.

The new law dipped into a number of areas directly as well as tangentially related to the tort reform debate.

1. The 2005 Act--Original Provisions

VENUE: The 2005 Tort Reform Act extracted tort claims from the state's existing venue statutes and created special venue rules for torts. (32)

In the most dramatic of these rule changes, the Act bluntly requires that "... in all actions in which there is any count alleging a tort and in which the plaintiff was first injured in the state of Missouri, venue shall be in the county where the plaintiff was first injured by the wrongful acts or negligent conduct alleged ..." (33) If the plaintiff is first injured outside the state, venue is in any county where a corporate defendant's registered agent is located or, if a Missouri individual defendant, that defendant's principal place of residence (34) or the plaintiff's place of residence on the date the plaintiff was first injured. (35) When a county is a plaintiff, venue can either be in that county if one or more defendants can be found in that county or where a defendant resides. (36)

If motions are made to dismiss or transfer based on claims of improper venue, such motions are deemed granted if not denied within ninety days of filing unless all parties waive that time period. (37) Venue established in the new Act can only be changed if all the parties unanimously agree. (38)

The Act also provides that the court must, on application of any party, transfer the case to a "proper forum" if, before trial commences, a party is added or removed and that change would have altered the venue determination under section 508.010. (39)

DAMAGES CAPS: Damages caps are also a keystone of the Act: the Act caps punitive damages at the greater of $500,000 or five times the "net amount of the judgment awarded to the plaintiff against the defendant (40) But the caps do not apply if the plaintiff is the State of Missouri or if the defendant pleads guilty to or is convicted of a felony "arising out of the acts or omissions pied by the plaintiff." (41) And the caps do not apply to certain civil actions alleging discrimination where Missouri statutes authorize damages awards. (42) Non-economic medical malpractice damages are further limited, as discussed in detail below. (43)

JOINT AND SEVERAL LIABILITY: The new Act also modifies Missouri's tort-related joint and several liability stipulations. (44) Prior to the new Act, the parties were jointly and severally liable for the total judgment amount. However, if the trier of fact allocated a portion of fault to a judgment-proof plaintiff and any party moved for reallocation of uncollectible amounts, the statute instructed the court to reallocate the uncollectible amount among the remaining solvent parties with the insolvent party retaining continuing liability for damages and contribution. (45) However, no such reallocation could increase the liability of any party whose liability was less than the plaintiff's by more than a factor of two. (46)

Post-reform, joint and several liability for non-punitive damages applies only to those defendants found to bear fault of 51 percent or more: if a defendant bears less than 51 percent of the fault, that defendant is only responsible for its proportionate damages as determined by the trier of fact, unless that defendant is liable for another defendant's fault because the other defendant was acting as its employee or the defendant's liability for the fault of another arises from a duty created by the Federal Employers' Liability Act. (47) Further, defendants are only "severally liable for the percentage of punitive damages for which fault is attributed to such defendant by the trier of fact"--this seems to imply that defendants are no longer truly jointly and severally liable for punitive damages at all. (48) Finally, this section of the statute now explicitly prohibits disclosure of its provisions to triers of fact. (49)

WRONGFUL DEATH: The new Act modifies section 537.090 relating to wrongful death actions authorized by section 537.080 by adding two rebuttable presumptions relating to future income of the deceased. First, if the deceased was not employed full time but was responsible for the care of one or more minors, disabled persons or persons more than sixty-five years of age, the value of the care provided by the deceased is rebuttably presumed to be based on 1 l0 percent of the state's average weekly wage, regardless of the number of such persons cared for. (50) Second, if the deceased is under the age of eighteen, the value of the deceased person's future earnings is rebuttably calculated based on the average of the deceased's two income-earning parents or, if only one parent is earning income, that parent's income. (51)

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE: The new Act also expands previous malpractice action "reforms." (52) Missouri medical malpractice law now expressly prohibits the use of expressions of sympathy and "benevolent gestures" to patients or their families (but not statements admitting fault) as evidence in civil actions. (53)

The new reforms also make it more difficult to initiate medical malpractice claims. Previous Missouri medical malpractice law required a plaintiff to file an affidavit stating that the plaintiff has an opinion from a "legally qualified health care provider" that the defendant failed to use such care as a reasonably prudent and careful health care provider would have under similar circumstances and that such failure directly caused or directly contributed to cause the damages claimed. (54) The Reform Act imposes stricter qualifications on the "experts" who can provide such opinions, requires the plaintiff to name the expert in the affidavit, and limits the time allowed for providing the affidavit to ninety days plus one ninety-day extension. (55) The Act also establishes procedures for defendants to require the court to examine the actual opinion in camera and, if the court determines that the opinion does not meet the standards set forth in the Act, (56) the court must conduct a hearing to determine if there is probable cause to believe that a qualified provider will testify that the plaintiff was injured due to a defendant's medical negligence. (57) If the court finds no such probable cause, the court is required to dismiss the petition and hold the plaintiff liable for the defendant's reasonable attorney fees and costs. (58) Presumably this provision causes plaintiffs and their attorneys to think hard before filing medical malpractice suits at all.

The Tort Reform Act also prohibits discovery as to a defendant's assets until the trial court determines it is more likely than not that the plaintiff will be able to "present a submissible [punitive damages] case to the trier of fact." (59)

Pre-tort reform, a medical malpractice plaintiff could recover up to $350,000 in non-economic damages from each defendant. (60) The new Act limits total non-economic damages, exclusive of punitive damages, to not more than $350,000, regardless of the number of defendants in the lawsuit, and subsumes exemplary damages and damages for aggravating circumstances in the definition of punitive damages. (61)

Further, the Act limits a court's ability to flexibly structure future medical damages installments at the request of any party: unless the parties agree otherwise, the number of installments is now based solely on life expectancy evidence presented at trial by the plaintiff and United States Treasury bill rates for the auction immediately preceding the judgment. (62) Because Treasury bill rates are typically lower than returns that can be achieved with other investments, (63) the new valuation system benefits defendants, and, because some plaintiffs may live longer than their actuarially determined life expectancy, some may spend the last years of their lives with no payments for medical services at all. (64) The bill is silent on whether heirs receive continuing periodic payments if an injured party dies before that party's expectancy-determined life span ends. (65)

The reform bill appears to completely eliminate joint and several liability for medical malpractice--no individual or entity is liable to a plaintiff for the actions or omissions of any other entity or person--and eliminates inflation increases in the damages caps. (66)

The Act also exempts physicians providing treatment at city, county, or non-profit health centers from liability for civil acts or omissions damages, with three exceptions: the exemption does not apply if (1) the damages arose from gross negligence or willful or wanton acts or omissions; (2) the physician maintained liability insurance other than coverage under the state legal expense fund; or (3) the damages involve abortion. (67) To qualify for the exemption, treatment must be certified in advance as rendered completely free of charge--the physician may not seek or receive compensation from any other party or insurer. (68)

The 2005 malpractice reforms significantly limit venue in medical malpractice actions: for purposes of determining venue under reenacted section 508.010, (69) the plaintiff "shall be considered injured by the health care provider only in the county where the plaintiff first received treatment by a defendant for a medical condition at issue in the case." (70)

In addition, the legislation creates a "rebuttable presumption that the dollar amount necessary to satisfy the financial obligation to the health care provider represents the value of the medical treatment rendered" (71) and allows the court to determine, based on collateral evidence and outside the jury's hearing, the value of the medical treatment. (72)

The reforms also address a number of more narrowly applicable aspects of Missouri's medical malpractice laws. First, malpractice reforms now explicitly protect any long-term care facility licensed under RSMo. Chapter 198--Convalescent, Nursing and Boarding Homes. (73) Second, the new revisions redefine medical test information-related negligence to exclude situations where the patient is duly informed but the tests were negligently performed or the results were erroneous. (74) Third, for cases involving minors, the new revisions reduce the maximum time period for filing an action to the later of ten years from the date of the allegedly negligent act or two years from the date of the minor's eighteenth birthday--before the reform, the statute permitted such actions to be filed within ten years from the date of the minor's twentieth birthday. (75)

The Act also expands the definition of medical peer review committee to specifically include health care professionals employed by universities and university-affiliated health care entities and those appointed by authorized representatives of "long-term care facilities," expands privileges applicable to the materials produced by such committees, and explicitly states that proper or improper disclosure to any person or entity does not waive privileges. (76)

OTHER CHANGES: First, the 2005 Tort Reform Act makes service of process easier for everyone. (77)

Second, the Act sets the rate at which interest accrues on unpaid tort awards at 5 percent more than the Federal funds rate, (78) fixed in the judgment document and unchanged thereafter. (79) Non-tort judgments continue to accrue interest at a flat 9 percent. (80)

Today, the Federal funds rate hovers neat" zero percent--plaintiffs who receive awards involving multi-year payouts during this historically low interest period will be disadvantaged if interest rates and inflation rise during the payout term. (81) Prejudgment interest from initial demand or settlement offer is permitted, but only if such an offer is made in accordance with the fairly stringent requirements of the Act (82) and a cause of action is filed within 120 days of the offer. (83) Prejudgment interest is limited to 3 percent more than the Federal funds rate, again fixed by the court in the judgment. (84)

Third, the Act provides that it supersedes the Missouri Rules of Civil Procedure where the two conflict. (85)

Fourth, unless a plaintiff proves a defendant is hiding or sequestering assets to avoid payment of the judgment, the Act caps appeal bond or other surety device amounts at $50 million and allows the court to reduce the ordinarily required amount of a bond under circumstances specified in the Act. (86)

Finally, the Act combines plaintiffs to further limit some non-economic damages payments: spouses are construed as one plaintiff for purposes of loss of consortium damages, as are all entities asserting wrongful death claims. (87)

2. Interpretations and Modifications of the 2005 Act

APPLICABILITY: Per its terms, the Act applies to all causes of action filed after August 28, 2005. (88) In 2010, the Missouri Supreme Court further limited the Act's application, holding that the new non-economic damages cap established by House Bill 393 may not be applied to causes of action that accrued before the Act's 2005 effective date because "the Missouri constitution prohibits laws that are retrospective in operation." (89)

VENUE: In September 2007, the Missouri Supreme Court addressed how the other venue-related provisions of the Reform Act interact with court rules. The state supreme court determined that Court Rule 51.03, permitting an automatic change of venue when the prescribed venue is a county with a population of less than 75,000, (90) did not conflict with or contradict the Act's new requirement that venue is where a Missouri-based plaintiff was first injured by the wrongful acts or negligent conduct alleged. (91) In other words, venue can be automatically changed based on the state supreme court's "less than 75,000 population" rule, even though the new Act might be construed to prohibit that reassignment. (92) The court observed that the Missouri legislature knew full well how to explicitly prohibit a change of venue when it desired such a prohibition and had not done so in the 2005 Act. (93)

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE DAMAGES CAP: As noted above, Missouri's highest court ruled in July 2012 that the Act's cap on non-economic medical malpractice damages offends Missouri's constitution and struck down that portion of the law. (94) Assessments of the potential impact of this recent decision are mixed. (95)

Further, although a 2012 review of the constitutionality of the Act's venue provisions seemed likely, that opportunity was thwarted by a settlement prior to oral argument. (96) Those provisions will almost certainly be tested in a future Missouri Supreme Court case.

III. ANALYSIS

On August 28, 2010, Missouri celebrated (depending on one's perspective) the fifth anniversary of the effective date of the 2005 Tort Reform Act. (97) Thus, five years of post-reform data are available to study the Act's impacts. Those records establish that tort reform has significantly reduced the number of tort actions filed in Missouri and distributed the remaining actions more uniformly throughout the state. (98) Unfortunately, the database is not sufficiently complete to permit a constructive analysis of judgments for and against plaintiffs and the amounts of judgments and settlements pre- and post-reform. (99)

BACKGROUND: Missouri has a total of 115 counties and forty-five judicial circuits. (100) Since Missouri's six million people are not evenly distributed throughout its counties, (101) thirty-five of the forty-five judicial circuits encompass more than one county: (102) fifteen circuits include two counties each, ten include three counties, five include four counties and five include five counties. (103) The map below shows relative populations of the various counties and groupings into judicial circuits. (104)

DATA ACCESS: Statewide records on all Missouri court filings are maintained by the Office of the [Missouri] State Court Administrator ("OSCA"); (105) release of that data is governed by rules promulgated by the Missouri Supreme Court. (106) Those rules provide that bulk distribution of records shall be made only upon approval of the Missouri State Judicial Records Committee ("SJRC") and only for non-commercial purposes.(107) The Committee's membership is comprised of twelve state judges from circuits throughout the state. (108) The Committee made the data used in this analysis available to the author of this Note. (109)

DATA UTILITY: The database's utility for analyzing the 2005 Tort Reform Act's effectiveness in terms of number and distribution of tort cases throughout the state is excellent. (110) But, because dispositions and judgments are not consistently recorded, the database is not useful for analyzing the impact of tort reform on the amounts and frequencies of plaintiff and defendant successes. (111)

Due to these data limitations, the following analysis focuses on evaluating the number of tort filings and the distribution of those filings throughout Missouri's forty-five judicial circuits before and after comprehensive tort reform in 2005.

METHODOLOGY: As noted above, a number of attorneys rushed to file tort actions in circuits perceived as favorable to plaintiffs in the days immediately preceding the August 2005 effective date of the new Reform Act: in the City of St. Louis, that rush produced a 720 percent increase in pre-effective date filings. (112) In addition to skewing the filing data for the year immediately prior to the Act's effective date, this phenomenon also presumably produced an anomalously lower number of filings in the year immediately after the Act's effective date. To account for this "transition period," the analysis presented in this Note excludes the one-year periods immediately before and immediately after August 28, 2005, but includes the four years immediately preceding and the four years immediately following that "transition period" as illustrated below.

TORT REFORM IMPACTS: The 2005 Act significantly reduced the overall numbers of tort filings in Missouri courts: the annual number of such filings in the "baseline" period averaged 17,698 per year, while annual filings in the "post-reform" period averaged 14,865--a significant decline of 16 percent. (113)

The Act's impact on distribution of tort filings throughout Missouri is even more dramatic. When analyzed by county and circuit of filing, comparison between the above "baseline" and "post-tort reform" periods reveals a dramatic shift in filing venue, illustrated below. (114)

The number of tort filings in the more populous circuits can be expected to exceed such numbers in less populous circuits, simply because more potential litigants and more litigation-spawning activity are located in those populous circuits. Pre-reform, however, the number of filings in the most populous circuits was extraordinarily disproportionate to the populations and numbers of jobs and businesses in those circuits. Post-reform, disproportionality remains but is far less egregious than in the baseline period. (115)

Pre-reform, the top five circuits accounted for 43.9 percent of Missouri's six million people, (116) 56.4 percent of Missouri's 2.6 million jobs (117) and 47.4 percent of Missouri's 160,000 businesses. (118) But a lopsided 77.5 percent of Missouri tort cases were filed in those circuits--a discrepancy ranging from 20 percent in terms of businesses to nearly 35 percent in terms of population. (119) Post-reform, the percentage of Missouri tort filings in those top circuits dropped to 66.8 percent--a nearly 11 percent overall reduction. (120)

As the graph below illustrates, the reduction was particularly significant in the 22nd Circuit--the City of St. Louis. Pre-reform, that circuit's 3,800 average annual tort filings accounted for 21.5 percent of the total in the state. (121) Post-reform, average annual filings dropped by more than 50 percent, to slightly more than 1,800 per year, or 12.3 percent of the total post-reform state filings. (122) A less dramatic but significant reduction, from 18.3 percent of the state's total to 15.3 percent of the state's total, also took place in Jackson County, where a significant portion of the land area is occupied by a portion of the City of Kansas City. (123)

In the other three largest circuits, the overall number of tort filings decreased in keeping with the statewide reduction in total filings, but the percentage of total state filings increased slightly as filings migrated from the urban to the suburban portions of Missouri's metropolitan areas. (124)

As reflected in the pre-reform distribution of tort filings, (125) many tort plaintiffs and their attorneys believe, regardless of whether that belief is fact or fiction, that chances of a hefty plaintiff's verdict are far better in front of a so-called inner-city jury. (126) Post-reform venue limitations make it far more difficult for Missouri plaintiffs to access those juries if their injuries do not occur in the "inner cities," so filing venues have shifted to other jurisdictions, suburban and rural, throughout the state. (127) As the chart below illustrates, the data also demonstrate that in many of the smaller circuits, post-reform filings have increased both as a percentage of total Missouri filings and in raw numbers: of the reduced number of total Missouri tort cases, many have been "displaced" from the larger inner-city circuits and migrated to smaller rural districts. (128)

In addition to labeling cases broadly as torts, the database also "sub-classifies" filings more narrowly within the overall tort classification, as medical malpractice, property damage, civil rights, etc. (129) But the manner in which tort filings are "sub-classified" may vary from circuit to circuit depending on the quality of case file scrutiny performed by court staff. Data may also reflect new sub-classifications added during the time periods examined. Thus, sub-classification comparisons may not provide a completely accurate reflection of the amount of actual change within narrower sub-classes. For example, a grand total of one "bulk tort damages" case was filed in the baseline period, while a total of 5,257 such cases were filed in the post-reform period. (130) That change is clearly anomalous, indicating that something other than tort reform has influenced distribution within sub-classes. But, in relatively clear-cut sub-classifications, the data seem to be instructive.

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE: As described in Part II, the 2005 Tort Reform Act severely limited damages available in malpractice actions and made such actions more difficult to pursue. Presumably as a result of these changes, malpractice filings dropped 30 percent throughout the state. (131) In St. Louis City, where medical facilities provided more than 16 percent of the jurisdiction's 222,000 jobs in 2010, (132) the number of malpractice filings dropped by 65 percent. (133) At the same time, Greene County, generally considered a rural area even though home to the major city of Springfield, experienced a 30 percent increase in malpractice filings--medical facilities account for nearly 16 percent of that county's 149,000 jobs. (134)

Many other rural circuits experienced even more significant increases in medical malpractice filings, presumably reflecting stringent post-reform medical malpractice venue constraints. (135)

WRONGFUL DEATH: Overall, wrongful death filings decreased by 23 percent. (136) While some overlap between malpractice and wrongful death filings is likely, the most significant decreases among large counties seem to have occurred in Jackson County (62 percent) and Greene County (55 percent). (137) Again, many rural low-population circuits experienced significant increases in wrongful death actions that likely reflect stringent post-reform venue constraints. (138)

OTHER PERSONAL INJURY TORTS: The remaining OSCA personal injury categories--product liability, vehicular, and other--are analyzed as a group. Overall, tort filings in these categories decreased by 11 percent. (139) City of St. Louis filings decreased by 49 percent, while filings in other counties in the metropolitan area increased: St. Louis County by nearly 14 percent and St. Charles County by 8.5 percent. (140) Pre-reform, St. Louis City recorded the largest number of "other personal injury" tort filings in Missouri; post-reform, St. Louis County now holds that dubious rank. (141) As with the sub-classifications discussed above, these "other personal injury" torts increased significantly in a majority of the rural circuits. (142)

PROPERTY DAMAGE: Property damage tort claims decreased by 9 percent overall, and, in four of the five circuits with the largest numbers of pre-reform property damage claims, in significant percentages, ranging from 42 percent in the City of St. Louis to 61 percent in the 13th Circuit--that circuit includes the Jefferson City-Columbia area counties of Boone and Callaway. (143)

In St. Louis County, property damage tort claims increased by nearly 500 percent. (144) Interestingly, in raw numbers, the increase in St. Louis County claims (1,467 over the four-year post-reform data period) is roughly equal to St. Louis City's decrease (1,363). (145) Presumably this shift again reflects the Act's more stringent limitations on venue choice.

In rural circuits, the pattern of migration for property damage torts is less pronounced than for other types of torts, perhaps reflecting the relatively low numbers of such claims both before and after re form. (146)

The number of tort filings in the property damage classification statewide decreased by 9 percent, compared to the 16 percent reduction in statewide tort filings overall. (147) It is possible that the typical property damage claim involves a smaller amount of money than a claim involving human life and the Reform Act's damages caps may have consequently had less impact on such lower value torts. (148) But it is also possible that changes in circuit staff sub-classification methodology may account for the apparent discrepancy. (149)

OTHER TORTS: It is likely that methodology changes also account for much of the apparent change in the catch-all "other tort" sub-classification. Based strictly on the data, filings sub-classified as "other torts" appear to have decreased by a staggering 53 percent. (150) However, as noted earlier, filings classified as "bulk tort damages" increased dramatically in the post-reform period from only one claim in the four pre-reform data years to 5,257 post-reform. (151) The vast majority of the changes in the "other torts" and "bulk tort" categories took place in St. Louis County: "other torts" decreased by more than 10,000 filings, while "bulk torts" increased by 5,218. (152) If those "bulk torts" are added back to the "other torts" sub-classification, the overall post-reform reduction in "other torts" is a more plausible 27 percent. (153)

Finally, although the raw numbers of filings involved are relatively small, two categories--asbestos torts and torts relating to violations of federal employment and state public accommodations laws--did not experience post-reform filing decreases. (154)

ASBESTOS: Asbestos claims held relatively constant at approximately one hundred filings per year across the state both pre- and post-reform, although filing distribution changed: numbers of claims increased in the smaller circuits. (155)

PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS AND EMPLOYMENT: More interesting is the fact that public accommodations and employment-related torts increased overall by 17 percent. (156) Pre-tort reform, only ten of the forty-five circuits experienced any such filings at all, and the four-year total of 1,724 pre-reform claims were concentrated primarily in St. Louis City and Jackson County/Kansas City. (157) Post-reform, forty-two of the forty-five circuits experienced one or more such claims. (158) Although it is difficult to say definitively without more detail on particular cases, it is likely that the Reform Act's exemption of housing-related discrimination claims from damages caps (159) contributed to the increase and that new venue constraints applicable to all torts impacted the distribution of these claims more broadly throughout the state.

But, as noted above, tort reform advocates have now set their sights on reforming Missouri's public accommodations and employment laws to more closely mirror federal law.

OTHER RELATED IMPACTS: The unintended consequences of 2005 changes to Missouri's workers compensation laws may, to some extent, have offset the Act's impact in reducing tort claims: the workers compensation law changes make it possible, at least until legislators and/or courts address those consequences, for injured workers to file civil tort actions where remedies were previously limited by older versions of workers compensation statutes. (160) Reductions in numbers of personal injury torts might be even greater than shown by the data if filings for injuries that would otherwise have been confined to workers compensation claims are excluded.

IV. CONCLUSION

It is clear from analysis of available data that Missouri's 2005 Tort Reform Act has dramatically reduced the overall number of tort filings across the state. (161) Observers can also infer from the data that both damages caps and venue changes have played a role in that reduction: in actions relating to housing discrimination pursuant to section 213.111 R.S. Mo., (162) exempt from the 2005 damages caps, filings have increased, bucking the trend. (163)

It is also clear that tort reform has dramatically redistributed the remaining tort actions nevertheless filed. (164) Before 2005, most tort filings were concentrated in the state's urban areas, particularly in "inner cities" where plaintiffs and their attorneys believed juries were more sympathetic. The dramatic post-reform filing reductions in those urban areas demonstrate that reform has drastically altered the ability of plaintiffs to bring suit in jurisdictions perceived as plaintiff-friendly, eliminating some tort actions altogether and forcing those that remain into venues (often rural) that previously experienced little such activity. (165)

Whether such redistribution is positive or negative depends on the observer's perspective. Those who favor unfettered access to tort justice view such reduction and redistribution as an unwarranted restriction on plaintiffs' rights, while defendants who felt beleaguered by frivolous pre-reform lawsuits view the reduction and redistribution as a plus. Jurisdictions previously burdened with lawsuits bearing little relationship to activities within their court systems welcome the redistribution: it eases overloaded dockets and allows those overburdened systems to focus on other problems, like crime, that more immediately concern their citizens. Tort reform has also presumably made inner city jurisdictions less susceptible to discrimination by corporations who fear the wrath of plaintiff-friendly juries in slip-and-fall cases. But some legislators fear that the recent Watts" decision striking down medical malpractice damages caps (166) on top of 2005 venue restrictions that force medical malpractice torts back into rural areas will actually hurt Missouri's rural population by making it even harder for such areas to attract and retain doctors. (167)

The dramatic reduction in the number of tort cases has also likely impacted the business of litigation and contributed to the legal industry's "recession." (168)

With the Act's damages caps, tort reform advocates also intended to reduce monetary impacts on unsuccessful tort defendants, particularly corporate defendants. But reform's impacts on this aspect of the agenda are far harder to measure.

As noted earlier, the state database does not include complete or reliable data on tort litigation outcomes--and for very good reasons. Many judicial staffs at the circuit level are overburdened, and even those who are not do not always classify cases consistently. Determining the amount of a judgment or settlement often requires close reading of the actual court documents (169)--a task that often exceeds the research and data entry capacity of overburdened staffs.

Missouri Lawyers Weekly, the go-to "trade publication" for Missouri attorneys, (170) tracks outcomes in far more detail and includes verdicts and amounts for both jury and bench trials as well as some settlement results. But that database is relatively new, with its first records originating in 2005. (171) And, presumably because the publication focuses on particularly newsworthy outcomes and those that attorneys "self-report," the database includes only a small fraction of total tort cases: from 2005 through the end of 2011, the database catalogued roughly 1,500 results for all varieties of tort and non-tort actions, less than 3 percent of the filings in the post-reform data period analyzed above. (172) The lack of readily available prevailing party and monetary award data makes it impossible to reliably measure the impact of tort reform on monetary damages impacts. Lack of coordination between appeals tribunal databases and trial court databases also makes it difficult to determine whether trial court outcomes were reversed on appeal.

This state of affairs presents the opportunity for improving the consolidation, accuracy, and utility of data in Missouri's judicial records system. The state court administrator's office has already taken major steps towards improving data quality and availability, including outcome data, with its statewide electronic filing initiative, now operative for all Missouri appeals tribunals and St. Charles and Callaway Counties and expected to be operative in 2013 for an additional twenty-four of Missouri's 115 counties. (173) As the system expands to include all Missouri circuits, all future case filings, including disposition records, will be available online, even if those documents are not translated into fields in the database. To the extent that old records can be scanned and linked to the database, it will also be possible for interns working with the court system to translate these documents into the appropriate data fields without physically examining each of the more than 120,000 case files necessary to effectively analyze the monetary effectiveness of 2005 tort reform.

As noted in the description of the pilot electronic filing system, appropriations for Missouri's court system have experienced and continue to experience cuts, making allocations of resources for data enhancement difficult. (174) Members of the legal community and members of the legislature concerned about the impact of torts on both justice and Missouri's business environment may wish to examine ways to make greater investments in the quality of historical pre- and post-reform tort data before proceeding with efforts to further change Missouri's tort system with either additional reform or reversion.

In summary, this Note clearly demonstrates that tort reform has been effective: available data clearly show that restraints on venue-shopping and presumably damages limits have substantially reduced the number of tort actions filed in Missouri courts and that the remaining tort actions have been distributed more equitably throughout the state. It is likely that both reduction in the number of tort cases filed and filing redistribution have in fact improved Missouri's business and medical services climate.

And it is likely that the Reform Act's curtailment on medical malpractice claims, demonstrated by the 30 percent reduction in malpractice filings, has reduced malpractice premiums as proponents claim and improved the ability of our universities and medical centers to attract the best doctors and researchers. (175) But the impact of the recent Watts decision (176) has yet to be felt. Whether the reduction in claims has reduced the overall cost of health care is a question best left to those engaged in the national health insurance debate.

Other important questions of fairness--whether Missouri's tort reform has really penalized the most severely injured plaintiffs and dampened others' appetites to pursue legitimate personal injury claims--remain unanswered.

Although proponents of tort reform can claim victory in measurable areas, it is not yet possible to examine the cost of that victory to plaintiffs and the rewards of that victory to businesses and others who are willing or unwilling participants in the tort wars. Claims that tort reform has in fact drastically reduced settlement costs do not appear to be supported by available facts, (177) although such claims may very well be true.

This Note is but a snapshot of tort reform in Missouri: the Missouri legislature and Missouri courts will inevitably continue to reshape Missouri tort law. As noted in the Introduction, the Act's venue limitations have yet to be tested in Missouri courts, (178) and new reform proposals populated the 2013 legislative menu. (179) Reform-related court rulings will undoubtedly continue to clarify the effects of Missouri's tort reform efforts. Those rulings will undoubtedly attract spirited defenses and hostility and, together with the lobbying efforts of business interests and social justice organizations, breed more legislative initiatives. The composition of the Missouri Supreme Court will have great impact on where constitutional lines are ultimately drawn; the political composition of the Missouri legislature and the political party of Missouri's governor will greatly impact whether and what types of legislative initiatives fail or succeed.

Given the lack of data on the pre- and post-reform dollar volumes of awards and settlements, both proponents and opponents of tort reform should concentrate on gathering and analyzing more data before making sweeping pronouncements on the need for more reform, lamenting reform excesses in current law, definitively declaring total victory or defeat, or--at worst--making new changes to Missouri's tort laws without full knowledge of the impacts of the 2005 Act.

APPENDIX A

FIGURE 1. MAP OF MISSOURI COUNTIES AND JUDICIAL CIRCUITS

COUNTY DISTRIBUTION
WITHIN CIRCUITS

#          #          TOTAL
COUNTIES   CIRCUITS   COUNTIES

1          10         10
2          15         30
3          10         30
4          5          20
5          5          25
TOTALS:    45         115

TABLE 1. ALL TORT CASES FILED-PRE- AND POST-REFORM
BY CIRCUIT

TOTAL ALL TORT CASES FILED
(BY CIRCUIT)

                                        2010                    2005
          COUNTIES IN                   POPU-       2005       BUSI-
CIRCUIT   CIRCUIT                      LATION       JOBS       NESSES

1st       Clark, Scotland, Schuyler    16,413       3,353       452

2nd       Adair, Lewis, Knox           39,949      14,695      1,180

3rd       Grundy, Harrison, Putnam,    27,982       9,377       871
          Mercer

4th       Atchison, Gentry, Holt,      42,876      14,371      1,349
          Nodaway, Worth

5th       Andrew, Buchanan             106,492     46,561      2,942

6th       Platte                       89,322      36,088      2,200

7th       Clay                         221,939     86,652      4,970

8th       Carroll, Ray                 32,789       6,897       761

9th       Chariton, Lynn, Sullivan     27,306       8,802       927

10th      Marion, Monroe, Ralls        47,788      18,742      1,444

11th      St. Charles                  360,485     117,022     7,566

12th      Audrain, Warren,             70,278      19,890      1,676
          Montgomery

13th      Boone, Callaway              206,974     94,623      5,189

14th      Howard, Randolph             35,558      12,621       956

15th      Lafayette, Saline            56,751      18,490      1,506

16th      Jackson                      674,158     363,766    18,619

17th      Cass Johnson                 152,073     37,598      3,045

18th      Cooper, Pettis               59,802      24,800      1,624

19th      Cole                         75,990      53,398      2,404

20th      Franklin, Gasconade,         130,592     45,710      3,535
          Osage

21st      St. Louis                    998,954     618,555    33,658

22nd      St. Louis City               319,294     222,519     8,067

23rd      Jefferson                    218,733     44,851      3,969

24th      St. Francois, Ste.           120,925     34,894      2,804
          Genevieve, Madison,
          Washington

25th      Naries, Phelps, Pulaski,     132,614     37,934      2,783
          Texas

26th      Camden, Laclede, Miller,     140,493     47,338      4,187
          Moniteau, Morgan

27th      Bates. Henry, St. Clair      49,126      13,510      1,393

28th      Barton, Cedar, Dade,         55,426      17,444      1,616
          Vernon

29th      Jasper                       117,404     56,694      3,472

30th      Bentoon, Dallas,             112,799     22,385      2,205
          Hickory, Polk, Webster

31st      Greene                       275,174     149,170     7,985

32nd      Bollinger, Cape              107,008     51,130      3,207
          Girardeau, Perry

33rd      Mississippi, Scott           53,549      18,588      1,654

34th      New Madrid, Pemiscot         37,252      13,274       991

35th      Dunklin, Stoddard            61,921      21,142      1,305

36th      Butler, Ripley               56,894      22,931      1,632

37th      Carter, Howell, Oregon,      65,987      21,207      1,861
          Shannon

38th      Christian, Taney             129,097      39,23      3,296

39th      Barry, Lawrence, Stone       106,433     30,537      2,558

40th      McDonald, Newton             81,197      24,960      1,557

41st      Macon, Shelby                21,939       6,879       673

42nd      Crawfofd, Dent, Iron,        71,200      17,677      2,195
          Reynolds, Wayne

43rd      Caldwell, Clinton,           66,687      17,383      1,690
          Daviess, DeKalb,
          Livingston

44th      Douglas, Ozark, Wright       42,222       8,325       882

45th      Lincoln, Pike                71,082      16,542      1,404

TOTALS:                               5,988,927   2,608,548   160,260

           TORT      TORT
           CASES     CASES                          CHANGE     CHANGE
           FILED     FILED                POST-       IN         IN
          8/28/00   8/28/06                AS %     CASES/     CASES/
          THROUGH   THROUGH      #       OF PRE-     1,000     1,000
CIRCUIT   8/27/04   8/27/10    CHANGE     REFORM    PERSONS     JOBS

1st         76        38        (38)      50.0%     (2.32)    (11.33)

2nd         31       172        141       554.8%     3.53      9.60

3rd        116       109        (7)       94.0%     (0.25)     (0.75)

4th         5        162        157      3240.0%     3.66      10.92

5th       1,006      815       (191)      81.0%     (1.79)     (4.10)

6th        541       619        78        114.4%     0.87      2.16

7th        581      1,748      1,167      300.9%     5.26      13.47

8th        129       148        19       11470.0%    0.58      2.75

9th         89       104        15        116.9%     0.55      1.70

10th        38       289        251       760.5%     5.25      13.39

11th      2,067     1,903      (164)      92.1%     (0.45)     (1.40)

12th       240       285        45        118.8%     0.64      2.26

13th      1,512     1,223      (289)      80.9%     (1.40)     (3.05)

14th       184       203        19        110.3%     0.53      1.51

15th       265       270         5        101 9%     0.09       0 27

16th      12,986    9,126     (3,860)     70.3%     (5.73)    (10.61)

17th       172       766        594       445.3%     3.91      15.80

18th       419       385        (34)      91.9%     (0.57)     (1.37)

19th       674       498       (176)      73.9%     (2.32)     (3.30)

20th       662       628        (34)      94 9%      (0.26     (0.74)

21st      20,895    18,193    (2,702)     87.1%     (2.70)     (4.37)

22nd      15,194    7,339     (7,855)     48.3%     (24.60)   (35.30)

23rd      1,987     1,390      (597)      70.0%     (2.73)    (13.31)

24th       748       597       (151}      79.8%     (1.25)     (4.33)

25th       495       580        85        117.2%     0.64      2.24

26th       194       921        727       474.7%     5.17      15.36

27th       138       320        182       231.9%     3.70      13.47

28th       283       250        (33)      88.3%     (0.60)     (1.89)

29th      1,128     1,031       (97)      91.4%     (0.83)     (1.71)

30th       513       610        97        118.9%     0.86      4.33

31st      3,697     3,173      (524)      85.8%     (1.90)     (3.51)

32nd       618       574        (44)      92.9%     (0.41)     (0.86)

33rd       300       354        54        118.0%     1.01      2.91

34th       270       258        (12)      95.6%     (0.32)     (0.90)

35th       353       384        31        108.8%     0.50      1.47

36th        34       442        408      1300.0%     7.17      17.79

37th       460       460         0        100.0%     O.OO      0.00

38th       604       826        222       136.8%     1.72      5.66

39th       146       627        481       429.5%     4.52      15.75

40th       148       411        263       277.7%     3.24      10.54

41st        46        72        26        156.5%     1.19      3.78

42nd       364       341        (23)      93.7%     (0.32)     (1.30)

43rd        46       309        263       671.7%     3.94      15.13

44th        24       190        166       791.7%     3.93      19.94

45th       315       318         3        101.0%     0.04      0.18

TOTALS:   70,793    59,461    (11,332)    84.0%     (1.89)     (4.34)

TABLE 2. TOP FIVE CIRCUITS: TORT CASES FILED-PRE- AND POST-
REFORM COMPARED WITH OTHER CIRCUIT CHARACTERISTICS

TORT CASES PRE- AND POST-REFORM
WITH OTHER CIRCUIT CHARACTERISTICS
TOP FIVE (5) CIRCUITS

POPULATIONS

                                         POPULATION
                     COUNTIES
                        IN            2010       % OF
    CIRCUIT          CIRCUIT       POPULATION    MO.

21st              St. Louis          998,954    16.7%
16th              Jackson            674,158    11 3%
11th              St. Charles        360,485     6 0%
22nd              St. Louis City     319,294     5.3%
31st              Greene             275,174     4.6%
TOTAL MISSOURI:                    5,988,927

                  CASES PRE-REFORM

                  8/28/00    % OF     DISCREPANCY--%
                  THROUGH   TOTAL    POPULATION VS. %
    CIRCUIT       8/27/04   TORTS         TORTS

21st              20,895    29.5%              12.8%
16th              12,986    18.3%               7.1%
11th               2,067     2.9%              -3.1%
22nd              15,194    21.5%              16.1%
31st               3,697     5.2%               0.6%
TOTAL MISSOURI:   70,793

                  CASES POST-REFORM

                  8/28/00    % OF     DISCREPANCY--%
                  THROUGH   TOTAL    POPULATION VS. %    CHANGE IN
    CIRCUIT       8/27/04   TORTS         TORTS         DISCREPANCY

21st              18,193    30.6%              13.9%          1.1%
16th               9,126    15.3%               4.1%         -3.0%
11th               1,903     3.2%              -2.8%          0.3%
22nd               7,339    12.3%               7.0%         -9.1%
31st               3.173     5.3%               0.7%          0.1%
TOTAL MISSOURI:   59,461

JOBS

                                           JOBS
                     COUNTIES
                        IN            2005       % OF
    CIRCUIT          CIRCUIT          JOBS       MO.

21st              St. Louis          618,555    10.3%
16th              Jackson            363,766     6.1%
22nd              St. Louis City     222,519     3.7%
31st              Greene             149.170     2.5%
11th              St. Charles        117,022     2.0%
TOTAL MISSOURI:                    2,608,548

                  CASES PRE-REFORM

                  8/28/00    % OF     DISCREPANCY--%
                  THROUGH   TOTAL    POPULATION VS. %
    CIRCUIT       8/27/04   TORTS         TORTS

21st              20,895    29.5%              19.2%
16th              12,986    18.3%              12.3%
22nd              15,194    21.5%              17.7%
31st               3,697     5.2%               2.7%
11th               2,067     2.9%               1.0%
TOTAL MISSOURI:   70,793

                  CASES POST-REFORM

                  8/28/00    % OF     DISCREPANCY--%
                  THROUGH   TOTAL    POPULATION VS. %    CHANGE IN
    CIRCUIT       8/27/04   TORTS         TORTS         DISCREPANCY

21st              18,193    30.6%              20.3%          1.1%
16th               9,126    15.3%               9.3%         -3.0%
22nd               7,339    12.3%               8.6%         -9.1%
31st               3,173     5.3%               2.8%          0.1%
11th               1,903     3.2%               1.2%          0.3%
TOTAL MISSOURI:   59,461

BUSINESSES

                                         BUSINESSES
                     COUNTIES
                        IN            2005       % OF
    CIRCUIT          CIRCUIT       BUSINESSES    MO.

21st              St. Louis           33,658     0.6%
16th              Jackson             18,619     0.3%
22nd              St. Louis City       8,067     0.1%
31st              Greene               7,985     0.1%
11th              St. Charles          7,566     0.1%
TOTAL MISSOURI:                      160,260

                  CASES PRE-REFORM

                  8/28/00    % OF     DISCREPANCY--%
                  THROUGH   TOTAL    POPULATION VS. %
    CIRCUIT       8/27/04   TORTS         TORTS

21st              20,895    29.5%              29.0%
16th              12,986    18.3%              18.0%
22nd              15,194    21.5%              21.3%
31st               3,697     5.2%               5.1%
11th               2,067     2.9%               2.8%
TOTAL MISSOURI:   70,793

                  CASES POST-REFORM

                  8/28/00    % OF     DISCREPANCY--%
                  THROUGH   TOTAL    POPULATION VS. %    CHANGE IN
    CIRCUIT       8/27/04   TORTS         TORTS         DISCREPANCY

21st              18,193    30.0%              30.0%          1.1%
16th               9,126    15.3%              15.0%         -3.0%
22nd               7,339    12.3%              12.2%         -9.1%
31st                 317     5.3%               5.2%          0.1%
11th               1,903     3.2%               3.1%          0.3%
TOTAL MISSOURI:   59,461

TABLE 3. TOP FIVE CIRCUITS: TORT CASES FILED--PRE- AND
POST-REFORM COMPARED WITH OTHER CIRCUIT CHARACTERISTICS
(CUMULATIVE)

TORT CASES PRE- AND POST-REFORM
WITH OTHER CIRCUIT CHARACTERISTICS
TOP FIVE (5) CIRCUITS (CUMULATIVE)

POPULATIONS

                                      POPULATION

            COUNTIES        2010
CIRCUIT    IN CIRCUIT    POPULATION   CUMULATIVE    % OF MO.

21st       St. Louis       998,954       998,954     16.7%
16th        Jackson        674,158     1,673,112     27.9%
11th      St. Charles      360,485     2,033,597     34.0%
22nd     St. Louis City    319,294     2,352,891     39.3%
31st         Greene        275,174     2,628,065     43.9%
TOTAL MISSOURI:          5,988,927

                                    CASES: PRE-REFORM

                           8/28/00                    % OF
            COUNTIES       THROUGH                   TOTAL
CIRCUIT    IN CIRCUIT      8/27/04    CUMULATIVE     TORTS

21st       St. Louis       20,895       20,895       29.5%
16th        Jackson        12,986       33,881       47.9%
11th      St. Charles       2,067       35,948       50.8%
22nd     St. Louis City    15,194       51,142       72.2%
31st         Greene         3,697       54,839       77.5%
TOTAL MISSOURI:            70,793

                         DISCREPANCY        CASES: POST-REFORM
                         --%
                         POPULATION     8/28/06                % OF
            COUNTIES     VS. %          THROUGH                TOTAL
CIRCUIT    IN CIRCUIT    TORTS          8/27/10    CUMULATIVE  TORTS


21st       St. Louis        12.8%       18,193       18,193    30.6%
16th        Jackson         19.9%        9,126       27,319    45.9%
11th      St. Charles       16.8%        1,903       29,222    49.1%
22nd     St. Louis City     33.0%        7,339       36,561    61.5%
31st         Greene         33.6%        3,173       39,734    66.8%
TOTAL MISSOURI:                         59,461

                         DISCREPANCY  CHANGE IN
                         --%          DISCREPANCY
                         POPULATION
            COUNTIES     VS. %
CIRCUIT    IN CIRCUIT    TORTS

21st       St. Louis        13.9%         1.1%
16th        Jackson         18.0%        -1.9%
11th      St. Charles       15.2%        -1.6%
22nd     St. Louis City     22.2%       -10.8%
31st         Greene         22.9%       -10.6%
TOTAL MISSOURI:

JOBS

                                         JOBS
            COUNTIES
CIRCUIT    IN CIRCUIT     2005 JOBS   CUMULATIVE    % OF MO.

21st       St. Louis       618,555      618,555      23.7%
16th        Jackson        363,766      982,321      37.7%
22nd     St. Louis City    222,519     1,204,840     46.2%
31st         Greene        149,170     1,354,010     51,9%
nth       St. Charles      117,022     1,471,032     56.4%
TOTAL MISSOURI:          2,608,548

                                    CASES: PRE-REFORM

                           8/28/00                    % OF
            COUNTIES       THROUGH                   TOTAL
CIRCUIT    IN CIRCUIT      8/27/04    CUMULATIVE     TORTS

21st       St. Louis       20,895       20,895       29.5%
16th        Jackson        12,986       33,881       47.9%
22nd     St. Louis City    15,194       49,075       69.3%
31st         Greene         3,697       52,772       74.5%
nth       St. Charles       2,067       54,839       77.5%
TOTAL MISSOURI:            70,793

                         DISCREPANCY         CASES: POST-REFORM
                         --%
                         POPULATION     8/28/06                % OF
            COUNTIES     VS. %          THROUGH                TOTAL
CIRCUIT    IN CIRCUIT    TORTS          8/27/10    CUMULATIVE  TORTS

21st       St. Louis         5.8%       18,193       18,193    30.6%
16th        Jackson         10.2%        9,126       27,319    45.9%
22nd     St. Louis City     23.1%        7,339       34,658    58.3%
31st         Greene         22.6%        3,173       37,831    63.6%
nth       St. Charles       21.1%        1,903       39,734    66.8%
TOTAL MISSOURI:                         59,461

                         DISCREPANCY  CHANGE IN
                         --%          DISCREPANCY
                         POPULATION
            COUNTIES     VS. %
CIRCUIT    IN CIRCUIT    TORTS

21st       St. Louis         6.9%         1.1%
16th        Jackson          8.3%        -1.9%
22nd     St. Louis City     12.1%       -11.0%
31st         Greene         11.7%       -10.9%
nth       St. Charles       10.4%       -10.6%
TOTAL MISSOURI:

BUSINESSES

                                      BUSINESSES
            COUNTIES        2005
CIRCUIT    IN CIRCUIT    BUSINESSES   CUMULATIVE    % OF MO.

21st       St. Louis       33,658       33,658       21.0%
16th        Jackson        18,619       52,277       32.6%
22nd     St. Louis City     8,067       60,344       37.7%
31st         Greene         7,985       68,329       42.6%
11th      St. Charles       7,566       75,895       47.4%
TOTAL MISSOURI:           160,260

                                    CASES: PRE-REFORM

                           8/28/00                    % OF
            COUNTIES       THROUGH                   TOTAL
CIRCUIT    IN CIRCUIT      8/27/04    CUMULATIVE     TORTS

21st       St. Louis       20,895       20,895       29.5%
16th        Jackson        12,986       33,881       47.9%
22nd     St. Louis City    15,194       49,075       69.3%
31st         Greene         3,697       52,772       74.5%
11th      St. Charles       2,067       54,839       77.5%
TOTAL MISSOURI:            70,793

                         DISCREPANCY         CASES: POST-REFORM
                         --%
                         POPULATION     8/28/06                % OF
            COUNTIES     VS. %          THROUGH                TOTAL
CIRCUIT    IN CIRCUIT    TORTS          8/27/10    CUMULATIVE  TORTS

21st       St. Louis         8.5%       18,193       18,193    30.6%
16th        Jackson         15.2%        9,126       27,319    45.9%
22nd     St. Louis City     31.7%        7,339       34,658    58.3%
31st         Greene         31.9%        3,173       37,831    63.6%
11th      St. Charles       30.1%        1,903       39,734    66.8%
TOTAL MISSOURI:                         59,461

                         DISCREPANCY  CHANGE IN
                         --%          DISCREPANCY
                         POPULATION
            COUNTIES     VS. %
CIRCUIT    IN CIRCUIT    TORTS

21st       St. Louis         9.6%         1.1%
16th        Jackson         13.3%        -1.9%
22nd     St. Louis City     20.6%       -11.0%
31st         Greene         21.0%       -10.9%
11th      St. Charles       19.5%       -10.6%
TOTAL MISSOURI:

TABLE 4. MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
PERSONAL INJURY--MALPRACTICE
(BY LARGEST # OF CASES--2000-2004)

                                                               8/28/00
                                                               THROUGH
CIRCUIT   COUNTIES IN CIRCUIT                                  8/27/04

22nd      St. Louis City                                         865
21st      St. Louis                                              785
16th      Jackson                                                663
31st      Greene                                                 153
29th      Jasper                                                 107
13th      Boone, Callaway                                        90
5th       Andrew, Buchanan                                       64
19th      Cole                                                   62
32nd      Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Perry                       58
11th      St. Charles                                            47
24th      St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Madison, Washington      46
7th       Clay                                                   42
23rd      Jefferson                                              37
25th      Maries, Phelps, Pulaski, Texas                         34
33rd      Mississippi, Scott                                     31
20th      Franklin, Gasconade, Osage                             26
37th      Carter, Howell, Oregon, Shannon                        17
17th      Cass, Johnson                                          16
14th      Howard, Randolph                                       15
35th      Dunklin, Stoddard                                      14
18th      Cooper, Pettis                                         14
30th      Benton, Dallas, Hickory, Polk, Webster                 13
6th       Platte                                                 12
26th      Camden, Laclede, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan              10
42nd      Crawford, Dent, Iron, Reynolds, Wayne                  10
28th      Barton, Cedar, Dado, Vernon                            10
34th      New Madrid, Pemiscot                                   10
15th      Lafayette, Saline                                       9
38th      Christian, Taney                                        8
40th      McDonald, Newton                                        7
36th      Butler, Ripley                                          7
1st       Clark, Scotland, Schuyler                               7
45th      Lincoln, Pike                                           5
10th      Marion, Monroe, Ralls                                   5
27th      Bates, Henry, St. Clair                                 4
3rd       Grundy, Harrison, Putnam, Mercer                        4
12th      Audrain, Warren, Montgomery                             3
41st      Macon, Shelby                                           3
43rd      Caldwell, Clinton, Daviess, DeKalb, Livingston          2
2nd       Adair, Lewis, Knox                                      2
8th       Carroll, Ray                                            2
39th      Barry, Lawrence, Stone                                  1
9th       Chariton, Lynn, Sullivan                                1
4th       Atchison, Gentry, Holt, Nodaway, Worth                  0
44th      Douglas, Ozark, Wright                                  0
TOTALS:                                                         3,321

                          CHANGE

          8/28/06               POST-
          THROUGH            REFORM % OF
CIRCUIT   8/27/10     #       BASELINE

22nd        304     (561)       35.1%
21st        553     (232)       70.4%
16th        379     (284)       57.2%
31st        199       46       130.1%
29th        72       (35)       67.3%
13th        87       (3)        96.7%
5th         16       (48)       25.0%
19th        41       (21)       96.7%
32nd        51       (7)        87.9%
11th        53        6        112.8%
24th        26       (20)       56.5%
7th         104       62       247.6%
23rd        27       (10)       73.0%
25th        25       (9)        73.5%
33rd        29       (2)        93.5%
20th        15       (11)       57.7%
37th        12       (5)        70.6%
17th        18        2        112.5%
14th         3       (12)       20.0%
35th        24        10       171.4%
18th        14        0        100.0%
30th        11       (2)        84.8%
6th         14        2        116.7%
26th        30        20       300.0%
42nd         6       (4)        60.0%
28th         6       (4)        60.0%
34th         4       (6)        40.0%
15th         9        0        100.0%
38th        20        12       250.0%
40th        13        6        185.7%
36th        54        47       771.4%
1st          2       (5)        28.6%
45th         3       (2)        60.0%
10th        14        9        280.0%
27th        10        6        250.0%
3rd          5        1        125.0%
12th         9        6        300.0%
41st         3        0        100.0%
43rd        11        9        550.0%
2nd         18        16       900.0%
8th          2        0        100.0%
39th        10        9        1000.0%
9th          8        7        800.0%
4th         10        10       1000%+
44th         0        0          N/A
TOTALS:    2,324    (997)       70.0%

TABLE 5. WRONGFUL DEATH
WRONGFUL DEATH
(BY LARGEST # OF CASES-2000-2004)

                                                              87/28/00
                                                               THROUGH
CIRCUIT                  COUNTIES IN CIRCUIT                   8/27/04

16th                           Jackson                          1,066
22nd                        St louts City                        641
21st                          St. Louis                          375
31st                           Greene                            298
13th                       Boone, Callaway                       89
29th                           Jasper                            74
23rd                          Jefferson                          67
7th                             Clay                             64
11th                         St. Charles                         57
24th      St Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Madison, Washington       55
5th                       Andrew, Buchanan                       54
25th               Maries, Phelps, Pulaski, Texas                52
20th                 Franklin, Gasconade, Osage                  52
19th                            Cole                             46
33rd                     Mississippi, Scott                      42
30th           Benton, Dallas, Hickory, Polk, Webster            41
32nd              Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Perry               41
37th               Carter, Howell, Oregon, Shannon               38
6th                            Platte                            36
42nd            Crawford, Dent, Iron, Reynolds, Wayne            35
35th                      Dunklin, Stoddard                      35
34th                    New Madrid, Pemiscot                     34
18th                       Cooper, Pettis                        33
28th                 Barton, Cedar, Dade, Vernon                 33
38th                      Christian, Taney                       25
12th                 Audrain, Warren, Montgomery                 25
45th                        Lincoln, Pike                        20
17th                        Cass, Johnson                        16
8th                         Carroll, Ray                         16
3rd               Grundy, Harrison, Putnam, Mercer               16
26th          Camden, Laclede, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan          13
14th                      Howard, Randolph                       13
27th                   Bates, Henry, St. Clair                   12
15th                      Lafayette, Saline                       9
40th                      McDonald, Newton                        8
39th                   Barry, Lawrence, Stone                     7
9th                   Chariton, Lynn, Sullivan                    7
1st                   Clark, Scotland, Schuyler                   7
43rd       Caldwell, Clinton, Daviess, DeKalb, Livingston         4
10th                    Marion, Monroe, Ralls                     3
41st                        Macon, Shelby                         3
2nd                      Adair, Lewis, Knox                       2
36th                       Butler, Ripley                         1
44th                   Douglas, Ozark, Wright                     1
4th            Atchison, Gentry, Holt, Nodaway, Worth             0
TOTALS:                                                         3,566

                           CHANGE

           8/28/06              POST-
           THROUGH            REFORM %OF
CIRCUIT    8/27/10      #      BASELINE

16th         405      (661)     38.0%
22nd         335      (306)     52.3%
21st         329      (46)      87.7%
31st         134      (164)     45.0%
13th         78        (H)      87.6%
29th         74         0       100.0%
23rd         76         9       113.4%
7th          73         9       114.1%
11th         65         8       114.1%
24th         56         1       101.8%
5th          33       (21)      61.1%
25th         58         6       111.5%
20th         51        (1)      98.1%
19th         46         0       100.0%
33rd         26       (16)      61.9%
30th         34        (7)      82.9%
32nd         31       (10)      75.6%
37th         47         9       123.7%
6th          35        (1)      97.2%
42nd         41         6       117.1%
35th         33        (2)      94.3%
34th         31        (3)      91.2%
18th         34         1       103.0%
28th         21       (12)      63.6%
38th         31         6       124.0%
12th         31         6       124.0%
45th         31        11       155.0%
17th         45        29       281.3%
8th          19         3       118.8%
3rd           5       (11)      31.3%
26th         80        67       615.4%
14th         14         1       107.7%
27th         32        20       266.7%
15th         32        23       355.6%
40th         57        49       712.5%
39th         38        31       542.9%
9th          11         4       157.1%
1st           6        (1)      85.7%
43rd         41        37      1025.0%
10th         22        19       733.3%
41st         10         7       333.3%
2nd          17        15       850.0%
36th         39        38      3900.0%
44th         19        18      1900.0%
4th          16        16       1000%+
TOTALS:     2,742     (824)      77%

TABLE 6. OTHER PERSONAL INJURY
OTHER PERSONAL INJURY
(BY LARGEST # OF CASES--2000-2004)

                                                               8/28/00
                                                               THROUGH
CIRCUIT                  COUNTIES IN CIRCUIT                   8/27/04

22nd                        St. Louis City                      8,474
16th                           Jackson                          5,726
21st                          St. Louis                         4,713
31st                            Greene                          3,178
11th                         St. Charles                        1,043
23rd                          Jefferson                         1,030
13th                       Boone, Callaway                       848
29th                            Jasper                           565
5th                        Andrew, Buchanan                      528
24th      St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Madison, Washington      443
38th                       Christian, Taney                      430
7th                              Clay                            409
20th                  Franklin, Gasconade, Osage                 393
25th                Maries, Phelps, Pulaski, Texas               360
37th               Carter, Howell, Oregon, Shannon               328
32nd               Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Perry              325
30th            Benton, Dallas, Hickory, Polk, Webster           321
19th                             Cole                            303
18th                        Cooper, Pettis                       263
35th                      Dunklin, Stoddard                      219
6th                             Platte                           205
42nd            Crawford, Dent, Iron, Reynolds, Wayne            203
33rd                      Mississippi, Scott                     173
34th                     New Madrid, Pemiscot                    170
45th                        Lincoln, Pike                        157
12th                 Audrain, Warren, Montgomery                 138
15th                      Lafayette, Saline                      136
14th                       Howard, Randolph                      115
?6th          Camden, Laclede, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan          109
17th                        Cass, Johnson                        100
39th                    Barry, Lawrence, Stone                   98
28th                 Barton, Cedar, Dade, Vernon:                90
27th                   Bates, Henry, St. Clair                   78
40th                       McDonald, Newton                      64
8th                          Carroll, Ray                        61
9th                    Chariton, Lynn, Sullivan                  59
3rd                Grundy, Harrison, Putnam, Mercer              52
1st                   Clark, Scotland, Schuyter                  35
41st                        Macon, Shelby                        29
2nd                       Adair, Lewis, Knox                     24
43rd        Caldwell, Clinton, Daviess, DeKalb, Livingston       23
10th                    Marion, Monroe. Ralls                    20
44th                    Douglas, Ozark, Wright                   18
36th                        Butler, Ripley                       16
4th             Atchison, Gentry, Holt, Nodaway, Worth            3
TOTALS:                                                        32,074

                                 CHANGE

           8/28/06                       POST-
           THROUGH                    REFORM % OF
CIRCUIT    8/27/10          #           BASELINE

22nd        4,312        (4,162)         50.9%
16th        3,616        (2,110)         63.20%
21st        5,358          645           113.7%
31st        2,283         (895)          71.8%
11th        1,132           89           108.5%
23rd         868          (162)          84.3%
13th         747          (101)          88.1%
29th         686           121           121.4%
5th          575            47           108 9%
24th         308          (134)          69.7%
38th         600           170          139.50%
7th          S20           411           200.5%
20th         387           (6)           98.5%
25th         354           (6)           98.3%
37th         329            1            100.3%
32nd         329            4            101.2%
30th         429           108           133.6%
19th         261           (42)          86.1%
18th         193           (70)          73.4%
35th         248            29           113.2%
6th          316           111           154.1%
42nd         19S           (8)           96.1%
33rd         204            31           117.9%
34th         168           (2)           98.8%
45th         164            7            104.5%
12th         162            24           117.4%
15th         146            10           107.4%
14th         121            6            105.2%
?6th         537           428           492.7%
17th         409           309           409.0%
39th         416           318           424.5%
28th         156            66           173.3%
27th         180           102           230.8%
40th         258           194           403.1%
8th           85            24           139.3%
9th           45           (14)          76.3%
3rd           58            6            111.5%
1st           15           (20)          42.9%
41st          44            15           151.7%
2nd          104            80           433.3%
43rd         155           132           673.9%
10th         178           158           890.0%
44th         120           102           666.7%
36th         261           245          1631.3%
4th           77            74          2566.7%
TOTALS:     28,409       (3,665)          89%

TABLE 7. PROPERTY DAMAGE
PROPERTY DAMAGE
(BY LARGEST # OF CASES--2000-2004)

CIRCUIT                  COUNTIES IN CIRCUIT

16th                           Jackson
22nd                        St. Louis City
11th                         St. Charles
13th                       Boone, Callaway
21st                          St. Louis
19th                             Cole
29th                            Jasper
6th                             Platte
20th                  Franklin, Gasconade, Osage
32nd               Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Perry
24th      St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Madison, Washington
15th                      Lafayette, Saline
18th                        Cooper, Pettis
42nd            Crawford, Dent, Iron, Reynolds, Wayne
30th            Benton, Dallas, Hickory, Polk, Webster
37th               Carter, Howell, Oregon, Shannon
45th                        Lincoln, Pike
38th                       Christian, Taney
28th                 Barton, Cedar, Dade, Vernon
5th                        Andrew, Buchanan
35th                      Dunklin, Stoddard
7th                              Clay
23rd                          Jefferson
33rd                      Mississippi, Scott
3rd                Grundy, Harrison, Putnam, Mercer
12th                 Audrain, Warren, Montgomery
34th                     New Madrid, Pemiscot
40th                       McDonald, Newton
26th               Camden, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan
14th                       Howard, Randolph
25th                Maries, Phelps, Pulaski, Texas
8th                          Carroll, Ray
17th                        Cass, Johnson
1st                   Clark, Scotland, Schuyler
27th                   Bates, Henry, St. Clair
31st                            Greene
39th                    Barry, Lawrence, Stone
9th                    Chariton, Lynn, Sullivan
43rd        Caldwell, Clinton, Daviess, DeKalb, Livingston
41st                        Macon, Shelby
10th                    Marion, Monroe, Ralls
2nd                       Adair, Lewis, Knox
36th                        Butler, Ripley
44th                    Douglas, Ozark, Wright
4th             Atchison, Gentry, Holt, Nodaway, Worth
TOTALS:

                                         CHANGE

           8/28/00     8/28/06              POST-REFORM
           THROUGH     THROUGH                 % OF
CIRCUIT    8/27/04     8/27/10       #       BASELINE

16th        3,515       2,027     (1,488)     57.70%
22nd        2,609       1,246     (1,363)      47.8%
11th         781         395       (386|       50.6%
13th         423         165       (258)       39.0%
21st         299        1,766      1,467      590.6%
19th         244         85        (159)       34.8%
29th         208         100       (108)       48.1%
6th          1S8         108       (50)        68.4%
20th         144         106       (38)        73.6%
32nd         132         91        (41)        68.9%
24th         128         122        (6)        95.3%
15th         77          43        (34)        55.8%
18th         75          79          4        105.3%
42nd         73          55        (18)        75.3%
30th         70          70          0        100.0%
37th         69          38        (31)        55.1%
45th         66          64         (2)        97.0%
38th         59          105        46        178.0%
28th         58          36        (22)        62.1%
5th          57          167        110       293.0%
35th         51          49         (2)        96.1%
7th          49          351        302       716.3%
23rd         46          295        249       641.3%
33rd         37          56         19        151.4%
3rd          36          26        (10)        72.2%
12th         34          41          7        120.6%
34th         32          34          2        106.3%
40th         31          50         19        161.3%
26th         27          127        100       470,4%
14th         26          23         (3)        88.5%
25th         22          70         48        318.2%
8th          20          25          5        125.0%
17th         19          178        159       936.8%
1st          19          12         (7)        63.2%
27th         18          49         31        272.2%
31st         12          294        282       2450.0%
39th         11          89         78        809.1%
9th          10          21         11        210.0%
43rd          7          47         40        671.4%
41st          6           7          1        116.7%
10th          3          38         35        1266.7%
2nd           3          19         16        633.3%
36th          2          48         46        2400.0%
44th          2          27         25        1350.0%
4th           0          41         41        1000%+
TOTALS:     9,768       8,885      (883)        91%

TABLE 8. OTHER TORT
OTHER TORT
(BY LARGEST # OF CASES--2000-2004)

CIRCUIT   COUNTIES IN CIRCUIT
                                                              8/28/00
                                                              through
                                                              8/27/04

21st      St. Louis                                           14,723
16th      Jackson                                              1,666
22nd      St. Louis City                                        811
23rd      Jefferson                                             807
5th       Andrew, Buchanan                                      302
29th      Jasper                                                173
11th      St. Charles                                           138
6th       Platte                                                130
28th      Barton, Cedar, Dade, Vernon                           92
38th      Christian, Taney                                      82
24th      St. Francois Ste. Genevieve, Madison, Washington      77
30th      Benton, Dallas, Hickory, Polk, Webster                67
45th      Lincoln, Pike                                         67
32nd      Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Perry                      62
13th      Boone, Callaway                                       61
31st      Greene                                                56
20th      Franklin, Gasconade, Osage                            47
42nd      Crawford, Dent, Iron, Reynolds, Wayne                 42
12th      Audrain, Warren, Montgomery                           40
40th      McDonald. Newton                                      36
26th      Camden, Laclede, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan             35
18th      Cooper, Pettis                                        34
15th      Lafayette, Saline                                     34
35th      Dunklin, Stoddard                                     33
8th       Carroll, Ray                                          30
39th      Barry, Lawrence, Stone                                29
25th      Maries, Phelps, Pulaski, Texas                        27
27th      Bates, Henry, St. Clair                               25
34th      New Madrid, Pemiscot                                  24
17th      Cass, Johnson                                         21
19th      Cole                                                  19
7th       Clay                                                  17
33rd      Mississippi, Scott                                    17
14th      Howard, Randolph                                      15
43rd      Caldwell, Clinton, Daviess, DeKalb, Livingston        10
9th       Chariton, Lynn, Sullivan                              10
37th      Cartel, Howell, Oregon, Shannon                        8
36th      Butler, Ripley                                         8
3rd       Grundy, Harrison, Putnam, Mercer                       8
1st       Clark, Scotland, Schuyler                              8
10th      Marion, Monroe, Ralls                                  7
41st      Macon, Shelby                                          5
44th      Douglas, Ozark, Wright                                 3
4th       Atchison, Gentry, Holt, Nodaway, Worth                 2
2nd       Adair, Lewis, Knox                                     0

TOTALS:                                                       19,908

CIRCUIT              CHANGE
          8/28/06                POST-
          through              REFORM %OF
          8/27/10      #        BASELINE

21st       4,600    (10,123)     31.2%
16th       1,930      264        115.8%
22nd        533      (278)       65.7%
23rd        93       (714)       11.5%
5th         11       (291)        3.6%
29th        76        (97)       43.9%
11th        221       83         160.1%
6th         89        (41)       68.5%
28th        23        (69)       25.0%
38th        56        (26)       68.3%
24th        77         0         100.0%
30th        55        (12)       82.1%
45th        53        (14)       79.1%
32nd        64         2         103.2%
13th        99        38         162.3%
31st        188       132        335.7%
20th        59        12         125.5%
42nd        29        (13)       69.0%
12th        38        (2)        95.0%
40th        25        (11)       69.4%
26th        134       99         382.9%
18th        35         1         102.9%
15th        29        (5)        85.3%
35th        28        (5)        84.8%
8th         12        (18)       40.0%
39th        61        32         210.3%
25th        54        27         200.0%
27th        36        11         144.0%
34th        12        (12)       50.0%
17th        75        54         357.1%
19th        47        28         247.4%
7th         287       270       1688.2%
33rd        24         7         141.2%
14th        26        11         173.3%
43rd        44        34         440.0%
9th         12         2         120.0%
37th        23        15         287.5%
36th        29        21         362.5%
3rd         11         3         137.5%
1st          3        (5)        37.5%
10th        29        22         414.3%
41st         8         3         160.0%
44th        21        18         700.0%
4th         14        12         700.0%
2nd         12        12         1000%+

TOTALS:    9,385    (10,523)      47%

TABLE 9. DISCRIMINATION
DISCRIMINATION:
EMPLOYMENT/ACCOMMODATIONS

CIRCUIT   COUNTIES IN CIRCUIT

22nd      St. Louis City
16th      Jackson
40th      McDonald, Newton
9th       Chariton, Lynn, Sullivan
13th      Boone, Callaway
29th      Jasper
30th      Benton, Dallas, Hickory, Polk, Webster
5th       Andrew, Buchanan
42nd      Crawford, Dent, Iron, Reynolds, Wayne
35th      Dunklin, Stoddard
21st      St. Louis
11th      St. Charles
31st      Greene
7th       Clay
23rd      Jefferson
17th      Cass, Johnson
26th      Camden, Laclede, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan
25th      Maries, Phelps, Pulaski, Texas
20th      Franklin, Gasconade, Osage
38th      Christian, Taney
24th      St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Madison, Washington
32nd      Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Perry
39th      Barry, Lawrence, Stone
6th       Platte
19th      Cole
45th      Lincoln, Pike
12th      Audrain, Warren, Montgomery
43rd      Caldwell, Clinton, Daviess, DeKalb, Livingston
37th      Carter, Howell, Oregon, Shannon
18th      Cooper, Pettis
36th      Butler, Ripley
15th      Lafayette, Saline
28th      Barton, Cedar, Dade, Vernon
33rd      Mississippi, Scott
27th      Bates, Henry, St. Clair
10th      Marion, Monroe, Ralls
4th       Atchison, Gentry, Holt, Nodaway, Worth
44th      Douglas, Ozark, Wright
2nd       Adair, Lewis, Knox
34th      New Madrid, Pemiscot
14th      Howard, Randolph
8th       Carroll, Ray
3rd       Grundy, Harrison, Putnam, Mercer
41st      Macon, Shelby
1st       Clark, Scotland, Schuyler
TOTALS

                                        CHANGE
CIRCUIT   8/28/2000   8/28/2006                POST-
           THROUGH     THROUGH               REFORM %
          8/27/2004   8/27/2010      #      OF BASELINE

22nd        1,509        261      (1,248)      17.3%
16th         205         706        501       344.4%
40th          2           8          6        400.0%
9th           2           5          3        250.0%
13th          1          47         46        4700.0%
29th          1          20         19        2000.0%
30th          1           7          6        700.0%
5th           1          11         10        1100.0%
42nd          1          14         13        1400.0%
35th          1           2          1        200.0%
21st          0          364        364       1000%+
11th          0          37         37        1000%+
31st          0          75         75        1000%*
7th           0          110        110       1000%+
23rd          0          31         31        1000%+
17th          0          38         38        1000%+
26th          0          11         11        1000%+
25th          0          18         18        1000%+
20th          0           7          7        1000%+
38th          0          10         10        1000%+
24th          0           6          6        1000%+
32nd          0           8          8        1000%+
39th          0          12         12        1000%+
6th           0          57         57        1000%+
19th          0          18         18        1000%+
45th          0           3          3        1000%+
12th          0           4          4        1000%+
43rd          0          11         11        1000%+
37th          0          10         10        1000%+
18th          0          29         29        1000%+
36th          0           8          8        1000%+
15th          0          11         11        1000%+
28th          0           8          8        1000%+
33rd          0          13         13        1000%+
27th          0          13         13        1000%+
10th          0           6          6        1000%+
4th           0           1          1        1000%+
44th          0           3          3        1000%+
2nd           0           0          0          N/A
34th          0           7          7        1000%+
14th          0           4          4        1000%+
8th           0           4          4        1000%+
3rd           0           4          4        1000%+
41st          0           0          0          N/A
1st           0           0          0          N/A
TOTALS      1,724       2,022       298        117%


APPENDIX B

(1.) See S.B. 379, 96th Gen. Assemb., 1st Reg. Session (Mo. 2011) and H.B. 785, 96th Gen. Assemb., 1st Reg. Session (Mo. 2011) (placing new restrictions on product liability claims); Christopher Yarbro, Medical Malpractice Reform Could Exact Huge Costs, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, Feb. 24, 2011, available at http://www.stltoday.com/news/opinion/article 2bbe527c-ld91-5714-9c09-0b70ee307f61.html; 2013 Legislative Agenda, MO. CHAMBER OF COM. & INDUSTRY, available at http://www.mochamber.com/mx/hm.asp?id=Legislative Agenda (last visited Dec. 27, 2012).

(2.) Mo. General Assembly Sends Workers' Comp. Tort Reform Bills to Blunt, ST. LOUIS BUS. J. (Mar. 16, 2005, 6:17 PM), http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouislstories/2005/03/14/daily 53.html?jst=b_ln_hl; Blunt Will Sign Tort Reform in St. Louis Tuesday, ST. LOUIS BUS. J. (Mar. 28, 2005, 10:51 AM), http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/stories/2005/03/28/daily8.html.

(3.) Blythe Bernard & Virginia Young, Medical malpractice cap is struck down by Missouri Supreme Court, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH (Aug. 1, 2012), available at http://www .stltoday.com/news/state-and-regional/missouri/medical-malpractice-cap-is-struck-down-bymissouri-supreme- court/article_7bb71afd-add3-5cde-a253-07faaade808c.html.

(4.) Watts v. Lester E. Cox Med. Ctrs., 376 S.W.3d 633 (Mo. 2012).

(5.) Bernard & Young, supra note 3.

(6.) Press Release, Off. of Mo. Governor Jay Nixon, Gov. Nixon vetoes Senate Bill 188; says it would undermine the Missouri Human Rights Act (Apr. 29, 2011), available at http://governor.mo.gov/newsroom/2011/Gov_Nixon_vetoes_Senate_Bill_188.

(7.) 2013 Legislative Agenda Civil Justice, Mo. CHAMBER OF COM. & INDUSTRY, available at http://www.mochamber.com/mx/hm.asp?id=CivilJustice (last visited Dec. 27, 2012).

(8.) Id.

(9.) Id.

(10.) Helping to Balance the Scales of Justice--Protection of the Civil Rights System, MO. ASS'N OF TRIAL. ATT'YS, available at https://www.matanet.org/index.cfm?pg=Issues (last visited Dec. 27, 2012).

(11.) See, e.g., Neil Gordon, Organizational donors: Profiles of the top organizational donors in 2003 and 2004, CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY (May 26, 2005, 12:00 AM) (last updated Aug. 18, 2011, 2:25 PM), http://www.iwatchnews.org/2005/05/26/5838/organizationaldonors (last visited Dec. 29, 2012) (describing the Association of Trial Lawyers of America as an organization that "as a whole leans toward Democrats" but also supports Republicans due to its many prominent Republican members).

(12.) See, e.g., Demystifying Tort Reform: Claims of "frivolous" lawsuits are wildly exaggerated, BROWN & BROWN ATTORNEYS AT LAW, http://brownlawoffice.com/practice_ areas.php?display=tort reform (last visited Dec. 29, 2012).

(13.) See, e.g., Missouri Narrows Tort Reform Caps, Passes on Constitutionality Questions, HOLMAN SCHIAVONE, LLC, http://www.kdh-law.com/Articles/Missouri-Narrows-Tort-ReformCaps-Passes-on-Constitutionality- Question.shtml (last visited Feb. 9, 2012) (lamenting the Missouri Supreme Court's failure to address the constitutionality of non-economic damages caps in Klotz v. St. Anthony's Med. Ctr., 311 S.W.3d 752, 759-60 (Mo. 2010); reprinted in DISABLED WORLD (Aug. 19, 2010), http://www.disabled-world.com/news/america/missouri/ tort-reform.php).

(14.) See, e.g., Matt Blunt, How Missouri Cut Junk Lawsuits: We Showed How to Do Malpractice Reform, if Congress Wants a Model, WALL ST. J., Sept. 22, 2009, at A3, available at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204488304574426823146241800.html; David Stokes, Tort Reform Has Been Great for Missouri, SHOW-ME INSTITUTE DAILY (Apr. 25, 2008, 12:25 PM), http://www.showmedaily.org/2008/04/tort-reform-has.html (last visited Dec. 29, 2012) (quoting Governor Blunt's Southeast Missourian statement that average settlement costs fell nearly 14 percent and total claims against Missouri doctors dropped by 61 percent from 2005 to 2006); John C. Hagan III et al., Show Me Tort Reform: the Missouri Experience, CATARACT & REFRACTIVE SURGERY TODAY, Jan. 2010, at 65, available at http://bmc today.net/crstoday/2010/01/article.asp?f=show-me-tort-reform-the-missouri-experience; Chris Rizo, Missouri's Tort Reforms Credited for Decreased Litigation, LEGALNEWSLINE.COM (Apr. 28, 2008, 11:50 PM), http://www.legalnewsline.com/news/211563-missouris-tort-reforms-credited-for-decreased-litigation (last visited Dec. 29, 2012) (quoting the legislative consultant for the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry's assertions that the state's legal climate has improved significantly since tort reform).

(15.) Tart Retort, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, Mar. 28, 1988, at 9A.

(16.) Trial Lawyers Support Jay Nixon, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, May 9, 1988, at 4A.

(17.) Mark Schlinkmann, GOP Savoring Danforth Win, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, Nov. 21, 1988, at 1B.

(18.) Linda Eardley, Danforth Pushes for Change, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, July 26, 1989, at 9A.

(19.) Ralph Nader, Tort 'Reform' That Injures Consumers: Danforth Plan Is A Boon For Manufacturers And A Bust For Victims Of Negligence, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, Dec. 2, 1991, at 3B.

(20.) Sherman Joyce, Product Liability Law in the Federal Arena, 19 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 421, 422-24 (1996).

(21.) See. e.g., HENRY COHEN, CONG. RESEARCH SERV., 95-97 A, FEDERAL TORT REFORM LEGISLATION: CONSTITUTIONALITY AND SUMMARIES OF SELECTED STATUTES (updated May 23, 2002), available at http://www.policyarchive.org/handle/10207/bitstreams/ 281.pdf.

(22.) Heather Cole, Earl Walker, Trial Lawyers Top Donors to Democrats; Anheuser-Busch, May Lead Republican Donors, ST. LOUIS BUS. J. (July 27, 2003), http://www.biz journals.com/stlouis/stories/2003/07/28/story6.html (explaining that the Democratic party was the big winner in plaintiffs' attorney contributions, while corporate donors generally supported Republicans, although some corporate donors supported Democratic Governor Holden for various reasons).

(23.) Editorial, Take a Gamble on Tort Reform, ST. LOUIS BUS. J. (June 8, 2003), http:// www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/stories/2003/06/09/editoriall.html?page-all (asking Governor Holden for a special session to resolve issues after vetoing the tort reform bill); Holden's Medical Malpractice Veto Survives, ST. LOUIS BUS. J. (May 14, 2004), http://www.biz journals.com/stlouis/stories/2004/05/10/daily78.html (reporting the Republican legislature's failure to override Governor Holden's veto of 2004 tort reform legislation).

(24.) McCaskill Defeats Holden in Primary, MO. LAW. WKLY. (Aug. 9, 2004), http://mo lawyersmedia.com/blog/2004/08/09/mccaskill-defeats-holden-in-primary/.

(25.) The Midwest, WASH. POST, Nov. 4, 2004, at A41.

(26.) Id.

(27.) See Tort Reform Shaping State Politics, Attorneys' Loyalty, ST. LOUIS BUS. J. (Dec. 26, 2004), http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/stories/2004/12/27/editoria12.html?page-all (reporting unfounded rumors that the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys had given $500,000 to the Republican party, and speculating on Democratic fears that their stalwart donors would begin to play the field).

(28.) See Conference Committee Substitute for Senate Substitute for Senate Committee Substitute for House Committee Substitute for House Bill No. 393, 93d Gen. Assemb., 1st Reg. Session (Mo. 2005) [hereinafter "Act," "Reform Act," "Tort Reform Act," or "House Bill 393"], available at http://www.house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills051/billpdf/truly/HB0393T.PDF.

(29.) Blunt Will Sign Tort Reform, supra note 2.

(30.) City Lawsuits Jumped 720% before Tort Reform Deadline, ST. LOUIS BUS. J. (Sept. 18, 2005), http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/stories/2005/09/19/focus2.html?page=all.

(31.) House Bill 393, supra note 28.

(32.) Id. [section][section] 508.010.4-508.010.14, at 5-6.

(33.) Id. at 5 ([section] 508.010.4).

(34.) Id. [section] 508.010.5(1).

(35.) Id. [section] 508.010.5(2).

(36.) Id. [section] 508.010.6.

(37.) Id. [section] 508.010.10.

(38.) Id.

(39.) House Bill 393, supra note 28, at 19.

(40.) Id. at 8. On August 18, 2012, the cap on punitive damages was effectively increased by the Missouri Supreme Court, by ruling that attorney fees must be added to the amount of non-punitive damages before the five times multiplier is applied. Hervey v. Mo. Dep't of Corr., 379 S.W.3d 156, 163-65 (Mo. 2012).

(41.) House Bill 393, supra note 28, at 7.

(42.) Id.; see also MO. REV. STAT. [section] 213.111 (2012) (referencing [section] 213.040, which prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability, or familial status; [section] 213.045, which prohibits discriminatory lending practices; [section] 213.050, which prohibits discriminatory practices by real estate brokers and agents; and [section] 213.070(3), which prohibits housing discrimination by the State and any of its political subdivisions).

(43.) See infra Part II.B.1, at MEDICAL MALPRACTICE.

(44.) House Bill 393, supra note 28, at 11-12.

(45.) Id. at 12.

(46.) Id. at 11.

(47.) Id. at 12; see also Federal Employers' Liability Act, 45 U.S.C. [section] 51.

(48.) House Bill 393, supra note 28, at 12.

(49.) Id. at 12.

(50.) Id. at 13; see also MO. REV. STAT. [section] 287.250.

(51.) House Bill 393, supra note 28, at 13; see also MO. REV. STAT. [section] 537.080.

(52.) MO. REV. STAT. [section] 516.105.

(53.) House Bill 393, supra note 28, at 18 (new [section] 538.229).

(54.) Id. [section] 538.225, at 17.

(55.) Id.

(56.) Id.

(57.) Id.

(58.) Id.

(59.) Id. at 7.

(60.) Id. at 14.

(61.) Id. at 14-17 ([section] 538.210-.220).

(62.) Id. at 16.

(63.) See, e.g., Individual Bonds': U.S. Treasury, FIDELITY.COM, https://www.fidelity.com/ fixed-income-bonds/individual-bonds/us-treasury-bonds (last visited Apr. 4, 2013) ("Treasuries are debt obligations issued and backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Because they are considered to have low credit or default risk, they generally offer lower yields relative to other bonds.").

(64.) See generally David Brown, Life expectancy in the U.S. varies widely by region, in some places is decreasing, WASH. POST (June 15, 2011 ), http://articles.washingtonpost.com/20 11-06-15/national/35235628_1_population-health-metrics-expectancy-christopher-j-l-murray.

(65.) House Bill 393, supra note 28, at 16.

(66.) Id. at 15.

(67.) Id. at 18.

(68.) Id.

(69.) Id. at 4.

(70.) Id. at 18 (new [section] 538.232).

(71.) Id. at 3-4 (new [section] 490.715.5).

(72.) Id.

(73.) Id. at 13 (revisions to [section] 538.205); see also MO. REV. STAT. [section] 198 (2012).

(74.) House Bill 393, supra note 28, at 9.

(75.) Id.

(76.) Id. at 9-11 ([section] 537.035).

(77.) Id. at 1-2 (new [section] 355.176).

(78.) The Federal funds rate is "the interest rate that banks with excess reserves at a Federal Reserve district bank charge other banks that need overnight loans ... [and] often points to the direction of US interest rates. The most sensitive indicator of the direction of interest rates, since it is set daily by the market, unlike the prime rate and the discount rate." NASDAQ, http://www.nasdaq.com/investing/glossary/f/federal-funds-rate (last visited Dec. 29, 2012).

(79.) House Bill 393, supra note 28, at 2.

(80.) Id. at 2-3 ([section] 408.040).

(81.) In the early 1980s, the effective Federal funds rate exceeded 10 percent; today, the effective Federal funds rate hovers around zero percent. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Effective Federal Funds Rate, FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF ST. LOUIS, http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/FEDFUNDS (last visited Dec. 29, 2012).

(82.) House Bill 393, supra note 28, at 2 3 ([section] 408.040, changing the allowable rate at which interest accrues on unpaid tort judgments and the conditions upon which and rate at which prejudgment interest accrues).

(83.) Id.

(84.) Id.

(85.) Id. at 6 (new [section] 508.011).

(86.) Id. at 8 (new [section] 512.099).

(87.) Id. at 15-16([section] 538.210).

(88.) Id. at 19.

(89.) Klotz v. St. Anthony's Med. Ctr., 311 S.W.3d 752, 759-60 (Mo. 2010) (relying on State ex rel. St. Louis-San Francisco Ry. Co. v. Buder, 515 S.W.2d 409, 411 (Mo. 1974) and Doe v. Phillips, 194 S.W.3d 833,850 (Mo. 2006)); see also House Bill 393, supra note 28, at 14 15.

(90.) Mo. Sup. Ct. R. 51.03; State ex rel. Audrain Healthcare, Inc. v. Sutherland, 233 S.W.3d 217, 218-19 (Mo. 2007); see also House Bill 393, supra note 28 (revisions to [section] 580.010).

(91.) House Bill 393, supra note 28, at 5 ([section] 508.010.4).

(92.) Id.

(93.) Audrain Healthcare, 233 S.W.3d at 218.

(94.) Watts, 376 S.W.3d at 637-46.

(95.) See, e.g., Bernard & Young, supra note 3; Brett Emison, Guest commentary: Court got malpractice decision right, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH (Aug. 10, 2012), http://www.stltoday .com/news/opinion/guest-commentary-court-got-malpractice-decision-right/article bld88c00-9 06d-51 ce-b02e-18ead9861828.html.

(96.) Scott Lauck, Challenge to venue law settles before argument, MO. LAW. WKLY., Dec. 3, 2012, at 5, available at http://molawyersmedia.com/blog/2012/12/01/challenge-to-venuelaw-settles-before-argument/.

(97.) House Bill 393, supra note 28, at 8, 19.

(98.) See infra App. A, Figs. 3-4, Tbl. 1.

(99.) Id.

(100.) Map published by Missouri Office of the State Court Administrator at http://www .courts.mo.gov/page.jsp?id=321 (last accessed Dec. 29, 2012) (shading, population data, and larger titles added by author); 2010 Decennial Census, U.S. BUREAU OF THE CENSUS, Table GCT-PH1, available at http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview .xhtml?pid=DEC_10_SF1_GCTPH1.ST05&prodType=table (select "Missouri" in geography drop-down menu) (last accessed Dec. 29, 2012).

(101.) At the time of the 2010 census, Worth County had only 2,171 people while St. Louis County had nearly one million. 2010 Decennial Census, supra note 100.

(102.) See 2010 Decennial Census, supra note 100.

(103.) See Your Missouri Courts, OFF. OF THE [MO.] ST. CT. ADMIN., http://www.courts .mo.gov/page.jsp?id-233; see also Missouri CaseNet, OFF. OF THE [Mo.] ST. CT. ADMIN., https://www.courts.mo.gov/casenet/base/welcome.do (both last accessed Dec. 30, 2012).

(104.) The map is based on sources cited supra note 100.

(105.) Your Missouri Courts, OFF. OF THE [MO.] ST. CT. ADMIN., http://www.courts.mo. gov/page.jsp?id=233; see also Missouri CaseNet, OFF. OF THE [Mo.] ST. CT. ADMIN., https://www.courts.mo.gov/casenet/base/welcome.do (both last accessed Dec. 30, 2012).

(106.) Mo. Ct. Operating R. 2: Public Access to Records of the Judicial Department (adopted Aug. 24, 1998, last revised effective July 1, 2012, effective Jan. 1, 2012), available at http://www.courts.mo.gov/courts/ClerkHandbooksP2RulesOnly.nstTe2aa3309ef5c449186256be 20060c329/dc2e80286afa4ad286256ca60051dee2?OpenDocument.

(107.) Id. at 2.10.

(108.) Letter from the Honorable Jimmie Edwards, Chair, Mo. State Jud. Records Comm., to author (Dec. 12, 2011) (footer listing committee members) (maintained in author's files and attached as Appendix B to this Note).

(109.) Id. (evidencing the State Judicial Records Committee's approval of the author's request for a bulk distribution of case records for use in this Note). Records for all cases classified as torts and filed in the Missouri Circuit Court system from July 1, 2000 through June 30, 2011 were made available on January 3, 2012, and received on January 9, 2012. Data fields received include the circuit and county in which the case was filed, the initial filing date, the disposition date, the case identification number, the tort sub-classification (wrongful death, five personal injury sub-classifications malpractice, product liability, vehicular, federal employment liability, and "other personal injury" property damage, asbestos, bulk tort damages, employment discrimination and public accommodations pursuant to Mo. Rev. Stat. [section] 213.111--and "other torts") and some data on the amounts of "judgments against.'" The data also indicate whether the case was assigned to a circuit judge or to an associate.

(110.) See infra App. A, Figs. 34, Tbl. 1.

(111.) Staff in Missouri's forty-five judicial circuits enter data on each case in a common tracking system and submit that data to OSCA. Because an individual responsible for entering the data in one circuit may not always sub-classify a case using the same thought process as that individual's counterparts in other circuits, sub-classification data may be less reliable than a case's primary classification as a tort. Further, "judgment against" data is not always entered by circuit court staff, presumably due to extremely high case volumes in some circuits and the variety of case dispositions possible--of the 187,046 tort filings in the eleven-year time period for which data was received, "judgment against" amounts were recorded for only 15,424, or 8.25 percent. "Judgments against" amounts will obviously not be recorded in those situations where the case was settled, the factfinder sided with the defendant, or the case was dismissed, but it is unlikely that the number of judgment amounts entered into the database reflects all judgments against. Because the available data is not useful for analyzing the impact of Missouri's tort reform on the amounts and frequencies of plaintiff successes, the Conclusion section infra discusses no-cost methods of improving the comprehensiveness of case disposition data. Data maintained in author's files.

(112.) See City Lawsuits Jumped 720%, supra note 30.

(113.) See supra note 111 text; see also infra App. A, Tbl. 1.

(114.) See infra App. A, Figs. 3-4, Tbls. 1-3.

(115.) See infra App. A, Tbls. 2-3.

(116.) 2010 Decennial Census, supra note 100; see also population aggregations maintained in author's files.

(117.) 2005 Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STAT. (download ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/cew/2005/2005.all.county_high_level.zip, extract employment and business establishments data for Missouri and Missouri counties) (last accessed Dec. 30, 2012); see also employment and business establishment aggregations by county and circuit maintained in author's files.

(118.) Id.

(119.) Data download maintained in author's files, supra note 109; see also author's aggregations, tables and graphs prepared from that data download, included in this Note and maintained in author's files; circuit county composition map, supra note 100; and 2005 county, employment, and business establishment, supra notes 100, 116 and 117 and accompanying text.

(120.) See supra note 119 and accompanying text.

(121.) Id.

(122.) Id.

(123.) Id.; see also Regional Planning Boundaries in Greater Kansas City, MID-AMERICA REGIONAL COUNCIL (Dec. 2010), available at http://marc.org/gis/assets/Planning_boundaries .pdf (last visited Dec. 30, 2012).

(124.) See supra note 119 and accompanying text.

(125.) See infra App. A, Figs. 34, Tbl. 1.

(126.) Show Me Tort Reform: the Missouri Experience, supra note 14 ("Inner-city juries in St. Louis and Kansas City are much more sympathetic to plaintiff's cases than out-of-state juries. Quirky state law allowed tort lawyers from all over Missouri to move their trials to these two venues.").

(127.) Data maintained in author's files; see also tables and graphs prepared from that data download and included in this Note and Appendix A.

(128.) Id.

(129.) See supra notes 109, 127.

(130.) See data analysis maintained in author's files.

(131.) See infra App. A, Tbl. 4.

(132.) Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STAT., http://data .bls.gov/pdq/querytool.jsp?survey=en (select state = Missouri; area = St. Louis City; in industries, select "NAICS 621 Ambulatory health care services" and "NAICS 622 Hospitals"; select ownerships = federal, state and local governments and private; select all establishment sizes; select all employees; select "get data" and aggregate) (last accessed Jan. 21, 2012); see also data download and aggregations maintained in author's files; see also tables and graphs prepared from that data download and included in this Note.

(133.) See infra App. A, Tbl. 4.

(134.) See supra note 132 (use note 132's data extraction process but substitute Greene County for St. Louis City) and infra App. A, Tbl. 4.

(135.) See infra App. A, Tbl. 4.

(136.) See infra App. A, Tbl. 5.

(137.) Id.

(138.) Id.

(139.) See infra App. A, Tbl. 6.

(140.) Id.

(141.) Id.

(142.) Id.

(143.) See infra App. A, Tbl. 7.

(144.) Id.

(145.) Id.

(146.) See infra App. A, Tbl. 7.

(147.) Id.

(148.) See generally FAQ Detail: How high are the damage awards for plaintiffs who prevail in general civil trials?, BUREAU OF JUST. STAT., http://bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=qa&iid =422 (last visited Apr. 5, 2013) (graph showing that in 2005 the median motor vehicle plaintiffs award was approximately $25,000 while the median medical practice award was approximately $400,000).

(149.) Id.

(150.) See infra App. A, Tbl. 8.

(151.) Id.

(152.) Id.

(153.) Id.

(154.) Data and aggregations maintained in author's files.

(155.) Id.

(156.) See infra App. A, Tbl. 9.

(157.) Id.

(158.) Id.

(159.) House Bill 393, supra note 28, at 8. See also MO. REV. STAT. [section] 213.111, available at http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/C200-299/2130000111.HTM; MO. REV. STAT. [section] 213.040, available at http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/C200-299/2130000040.HTM; MO. REV. STAT. [section] 213.045, available at http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/C200-299/2130000045.HTM; Mo. REV. STAT. [section] 213.050, available at http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/C200-299/2130000050 .HTM; MO. REV. STAT. [section] 213.070, available at http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/C200-299/ 2130000070.HTM.

(160.) Christine Simmons, Accidental injury standard must be reviewed, court says--Lawyers say ruling is result of 2005 changes to workers' comp, MO. LAW. WKLY. (Dec. 19, 2011), http://molawyersmedia.com/blog/2011/12/19/accidental-injury-standard-must-be-reviewed -court-says/; see also Veto Message--Senate Substitute for Senate Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 572, Off of Mo. Governor Jay Nixon (Mar. 16, 2012), available at http:// governor.mo.gov/newsroom/pdf/2012/sb572veto.pdf; David A. Lieb, State COP to tackle workers' compensation, MO. LAW. WKLY., Dec. 31, 2012, at 5.

(161.) See generally supra Part III.

(162.) House Bill 393, supra note 28, at 8; see also MO. REV. STAT. [section] 213.111, available at http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/C200-299/2130000111.HTM.

(163.) See infra App. A, Tbl. 9.

(164.) See generally supra Part III.

(165.) See generally supra Part III; and infra App. A, Figs. 1,3-4, Tbl. 1.

(166.) Watts, 376 S.W.3d at 637-46.

(167.) Bernard & Young, supra note 3; but see Jeffrey A. Herman, Physicians shouldn't fear end of damages cap, MO. LAW. WKLY., Sept. 10, 2012, at 8.

(168.) See generally Employment of Workers on Nonfarm Payrolls Monthly Data Not Seasonally Adjusted, MO. ECON. RES. & INFO. CENTER, http://www.missourieconomy.org/industry/ces/default.aspx (last visited Apr. 5, 2013) (in January 2013, 19,800 people were employed in the legal services industry in Missouri, down nearly 8 percent from a high of 21,500 in January 2007).

(169.) For example, in Jackson County Case No. 02CV235322 involving a hog farm and a March 22, 2010 verdict for neighbors harmed by smell, the "amount of judgment" data field says only "see text." In this relatively recent example, the total amount of the verdicts for the fifteen plaintiffs can be determined by reading the text of the .pdf "judgment entered" file available on the website, but that total is not available in the database itself for purposes of a bulk data analysis. Older cases do not generally have access to the text of judgment orders. See Missouri CaseNet, OFF. OF THE [Mo.] ST. CT. ADMIN., https://www.courts.mo.gov/casenet/ base/welcome.do.

(170.) About Our Papers, MO. LAW. WKLY., http://molawyersmedia.com/news/missourilawyers-weekly/(last visited May 25, 2013).

(171.) See Verdicts & Settlements, MO. LAW. WKLY., http://verdicts.molawyersmedia.com/ (last visited Apr. 5, 2013) (noting that at least some of the verdicts and settlements in the database are self-reported and that pre-2006 verdicts and settlements must be researched by searching the entire publication rather than the database).

(172.) Id. The author extracted all verdicts and settlements in the Missouri Lawyers Weekly database and compared the number included in that database to the number of cases filed in the Office of State Court Administrator records for the same period, as shown in Appendix A, Table 1. The extracted data and the calculation yielding the "less than 3 percent" statistic are maintained in the author's files.

(173.) See Honorable Richard B. Teitelman, Chief Justice, Mo. Supreme Court, 2012 State of the Judiciary Address, transcript available at https://www.courts.mo.gov/page.jsp?id-51974 ("We also owe you many thanks for helping the courts with their efforts in the area of technology. The state court administrator's office has undertaken a remarkable cooperative effort to help make our records more accessible through electronic filing."); see also The Missouri Electronic Filing System, YOUR MISSOURI COURTS, https://www.courts.mo.gov/ page.jsp?id-50531 (last visited May 9, 2013); Missouri Electronic Filing Implementation Schedule, YOUR MISSOURI COURTS, http://www.courts.mo.gov/page.jsp?id=46524.

(174.) See The Missouri Electronic Filing System, supra note 173.

(175.) Blunt, How Missouri Cut Junk Lawsuits, supra note 14 ("Malpractice insurers are also turning a profit for the filth year in a row--allowing other insurers to compete for business in Missouri. This will drive down costs, which will save government programs money as well as improve the system for patients. It will also leave doctors with more resources to invest in better care.").

(176.) Watts, 376 S.W.3d at 635-48.

(177.) Tort Reform Has Been Great for Missouri, supra note 14 (quoting an article in the Southeast Missourian, which stated as follows: "Blunt said 2007 numbers were not available, but that from 2005 to 2006, average settlement costs fell nearly 14 percent, and total claims against Missouri doctors dropped by 61 percent.").

(178.) Lauck, supra note 96, at 5.

(179.) 2013 Legislative Agenda, supra note 1. See also Scott Lauck, Med mal limits measure likely to return, MO. LAW. WKLY. (May 25, 2013), http://molawyersmedia.com/blog/2013/05/ 25/med-mal-limits-measure-likely-to-return/.

Barbara A. Geisman, J.D. (2013), Washington University School of Law. The author expresses her sincere and heartfelt thanks to Catherine Zacharias, Legal Counsel, Office of the State Courts Administrator, and her staff, who worked with me to obtain the electronic records that form the basis for this Note it would not have been possible without their help. The author also thanks the Missouri Judicial Records Committee, in particular the Honorable Jimmie Edwards, Chair, for approving her request for access to the records. Finally, the author thanks Helen Haskins, Court Administrator, 22nd Judicial Circuit, for setting me on the road to records access and to the 2011-12 and 2012-13 Journal of Law & Policy Editorial Boards for working with me to structure this Note and selecting it for publication.
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Author:Geisman, Barbara A.
Publication:Washington University Journal of Law & Policy
Date:Mar 22, 2013
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