Langdon & Emison partner Brett Emison offered commentary for a recent article on Missouri tort reform published in The National Law Journal. Emison serves on the executive committee of the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys, an advocacy organization dedicated to consumer rights protection and equality.
According to the article, Missouri is the top target of tort reformers seeking to dismantle laws that “they claim have led to gargantuan verdicts,” including three 8-figure awards against Johnson & Johnson last year in the baby powder litigation.
With the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently launching an advertising campaign aimed at state legislators to “pass a lengthy list of tort reform measures,” Emison said plaintiffs’ lawyers are in for a big fight.
“We are facing a tough battle,” said Emison. “We are massively outgunned when we have the entire U.S. Chamber of Commerce lobbying to protect big businesses and corporations that injure people. It is not a fair playing field.”
Past efforts to introduce tort reform legislation were vetoed by Missouri’s previous governor, Jay Nixon; however, the state’s new Republican governor, Eric Greitens, has made tort reform a top priority and one likely to be supported by the GOP, which holds supermajorities in both houses of the Missouri legislature.
Emison has testified before Missouri legislators to fight for laws that ensure everyday people have access to the courts and civil justice system. As a plaintiffs’ lawyer, Emison represents people who have been injured or lost loved ones due to the negligence of large companies and corporations.
Several of the most closely watched tort reform measures would make it more costly for plaintiffs to bring cases against large corporate defendants. Emison said these measures also would lower damage awards to benefit corporations at the expense of the innocent people they are responsible for injuring.
“Trial lawyers have the honor and privilege to represent real people every day,” Emison wrote in a blog post about tort reform. “We fight for the injured. We fight for the sick. We fight for the widow. We fight for the orphan. We fight for those who can no longer fight for themselves.”
About Brett Emison
Brett A. Emison is a partner at Langdon & Emison where his practice focused almost exclusively on catastrophic injury and death cases as well as class action and other complex tort cases. His experience and expertise spans an array of personal injury litigation, including auto product defects; railroad crossing accidents; trucking accidents; and defective drugs and medical devices. Mr. Emison is a member of the American Association for Justice Leaders Forum. Brett also serves on AAJ’s Publications Committee; PAC Board of Trustees; and its National Finance Council. Because of his vast experience, he is regularly published in national trade publications on product liability and other contemporary legal topics.
About Langdon & Emison
Langdon & Emison is recognized as one of the nation’s leading personal injury law firm, having taken on some of the world’s largest corporations on behalf of injured people and their families in courtrooms from coast to coast. Langdon & Emison represented the plaintiff in Baker vs. General Motors, a landmark lawsuit where for the first time evidence was admitted into court proving an automaker’s deliberate choice of profits over human safety. With offices in Lexington and Kansas City (Mo.), St. Louis, and Chicago, the firm has earned a national reputation as a leader in auto defect cases, trucking accidents and a full array of personal injury litigation.