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Missouri consumers with small claims may have their attorney fees paid by the company that wronged them.

In Berry v. Volkswagen, the Missouri Supreme Court affirmed the legal principle that consumers with small claims for damages against a company that violated the consumer’s rights may have attorney fees paid by the defendant corporation. 379 S.W.3d 425 (Mo. banc 2013). Looking to the attorney fee-shifting provision of Missouri’s Merchandising Practices Act and affirming the trial court’s award of attorney fees, the Court stated, “When the legislature codifies fee-shifting awards for attorneys’ fees in legislation that it promulgated to protect the public from harm, there is the possibility that the ‘amount of the verdict or judgment may have little bearing on the amount of attorneys’ fees.’” Even small consumer protection cases may be brought to protect consumer rights in Missouri, with attorney fees paid by the defendant corporation.