MoDOT Wants Day in Court on Highway LawsuitsAuthor/Presenter: Duplantier, Wes
The Missouri Legislature is set to vote on a bill which would require a lawsuit made against the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) over injuries or deaths blamed on defects in state roads to go to trial unless the Missouri Highways and Transportation Committee agrees to arbitration. Sen. Bill Stouffer, the bill’s sponsor, believes lawyers would be less likely to pursue a court case because of the complications and expenses involved which in turn would save MoDOT millions of dollars to be used for road maintenance. Several attorneys are against the bill because jury trials are time consuming, and arbitrators typically have more experience related to road maintenance issues than a typical juror. According to legislative researchers, MoDOT’s legal costs have risen nearly $8 million in the past ten years, but the transportation agency is optimistic about the bill’s potential to decrease legal costs in Missouri.