Today the Senate Rules Committee passed a lawsuit reform measure critical to the Senate Republican Jobs agenda. The Rules Committee approved HB 2128 by a vote of 11 to 5.
“I am pleased by the efforts of my colleagues who chose to make this critical issue a priority,” said Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore, who is the Senate author of the bill. “This is a vital piece of our economic development and jobs agenda, and I appreciate the compromise that we were able to garner on the issue between the Senate and the House.”
President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman issued the following statement regarding the passage of HB 2128 out of committee:
“Everyone is affected by the cost of jackpot litigation. Frivolous lawsuits increase the cost of business in Oklahoma; they increase our insurance rates, they increase medical malpractice rates and they cost our state jobs. If we do not put real protections in place that prevent out of control lawsuits, we all pay. We have a bold majority of Republicans in the Senate that are ready to deliver on our promise by enacting a meaningful cap on non-economic damages.”
Key points of House Bill 2128 include:
The bill will place a cap on non-economic damages of $350,000
In cases of malice, intent, or gross negligence the cap may be lifted
Economic damages will not be affected by the legislation
The bill will uphold an individual’s right to a fair trial and preserve the jury’s discretion on all other elements of judgments; including loss of income, medical expenses or other things that could be characterized as economic damages
The legislation will now move on the full Senate for further consideration.