Insurer Group Disappointed in Defeat of Okla. Tort Reform Measure

April 6, 2006

The American Insurance Association (AIA) expressed disappointment that one of the most contested issues in the Oklahoma Legislature for the past several years—tort reform—has been defeated.

“In a classic battle between the Republicans and Democrats, the trial bar was once again successful in killing meaningful tort reform in Oklahoma,” stated John Marlow, assistant vice president, Southwest Region, in a news release. “This is a real blow to businesses and the overall economy of Oklahoma and allows the trial bar to continue to exploit frivolous lawsuits in the state.”

HB 3120, sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Glenn Coffee (R), would have limited contingency fees for lawyers, would have capped non-economic damages at $300,000, and would have capped hospital liabilities at $500,000, except in lawsuits alleging wrongful deaths, gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.

The bill was defeated in the Senate Judiciary Committee by a vote of 7-4.

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