Mo. Senate Votes to Change Liability for Crop Damage

March 5, 2007

Farmers whose crops are destroyed by someone else may have an easier time getting paid for them under a bill that recently cleared the Missouri Senate.

The legislation changes the liability standard for crop damage or destruction. Under current law, a court must determine that a person knowingly damaged the crops. If so, the person must pay double the damages.

Sponsor Sen. Dan Clemens, R-Marshfield, said in cases in which it’s unclear if someone’s conduct was intentional or accidental, that person could walk away without owing anything.

Under the new legislation, those who accidentally harm crops would have to pay only what the crops were worth. Those who intentionally harm crops would still have to pay double the damages.

The Senate passed the bill 31-3 and sent it to the House for further consideration.

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