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Tort Reform Measure Signed in Arkansas

March 27, 2003

The American Insurance Association praised Arkansas Governor Huckabee for signing significant tort reform legislation passed through the state legislature.

“The Arkansas Legislature has made great strides toward reducing frivolous lawsuits that clog the courts, ultimately costing jobs and impeding companies from moving to Arkansas,” said John Marlow, AIA assistant vice president, southwest region. “This measure protects the rights of individuals to seek remedies through the courts without hurting Arkansas’ business climate. Passage of this bill will lower the cost of tort claims and help keep liability insurance available and affordable.”

HB 1038, the omnibus tort reform measure sponsored by Rep. Danny Ferguson (D) and Sen. Bob Johnson (D), contains several important tort reforms including a $1 million cap on punitive and non-economic damages along with joint and several liability and venue reform. The AIA worked with a bi-partisan coalition, the Committee to Save Arkansas Jobs, to promote the tenets of tort reform and its affects on economic development in the state.

HB 1038 was approved by the Arkansas House of Representatives by a vote of 71-29, and in the Arkansas Senate by a vote of 34-1. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Huckabee on March 15.

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