The Missouri Legislature reconvened this week intent on passing SB 591, a bill that severely weakens Missouri’s cornerstone consumer protection law, the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act.  The bill, if passed, would also eliminate – in most instances – the assessment of any damages to punish and deter bad conduct by wrongdoers, even when the conduct is “outrageous”, and even when it is done with “evil motive.”

The legislature is taking up SB 591 as COVID-19-related fraud proliferates.  As of April 26, 2020, the Federal Trade Commission reported 27,333 complaints of COVID-19 related consumer fraud, amounting to a loss of more than twenty million dollars.  On its website, the Missouri Attorney General warns Medicaid recipients “to be suspicious of unexpected callers or visitors who offer COVID-19 assessments, tests, or supplies” because “scammers” are using personal information to “commit fraud.”  

~ See more in today’s Journal ~