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Tort reform group says St. Louis has worst judicial climate

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – An association that lobbies for restricting liability lawsuits to help business says St. Louis has the nation’s worst judicial climate.

An American Tort Reform Association report released Wednesday said St. Louis is a magnet for product liability and consumer class-action lawsuits. California is second on the list.

The group listed Missouri venue laws and expert testimony standards as factors.

The report cited a St. Louis case over the potential role of baby powder in causing ovarian cancer. In October, a jury awarded a California woman $70.1 million in the case.

The report likely will be used as fodder next legislative session, when Republican legislative leaders say they’ll make tort reform a top priority.

Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed tort-reform proposals, but Republican Gov.-elec Eric Greitens has expressed support.