JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri GOP legislative leaders this year are pushing a collection of bills to limit liability lawsuits.

Republican Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard told reporters Thursday that the aim is to help businesses grow without the undue burden of lawsuits.

At issue are civil cases over torts, which is a legal term used to describe acts of wrongdoing. Tort cases include medical malpractice, lemon cars and deceptive or harmful products.

Missouri GOP lawmakers this year are pushing bills to restrict class-action lawsuits and make it harder to sue for asbestos exposure or discrimination in the workplace.

Democrats and trial attorneys argue so-called tort reform would limit access to the courts for people who have been hurt by scams, shoddy products or discrimination.