State Capitol, Oklahoma City –Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman said if anyone wanted further proof about the need for lawsuit reform in Oklahoma, they should just look at Monday’s 11th hour rush by trial attorneys to file cases before a series of new laws took effect on November 1.
According to the Oklahoma County Court Clerk’s office, on a typical day, 50 to 70 civil suits are filed. On Monday alone, 532 lawsuits were filed, 310 of which were negligence cases, compared to an average of 5 to 10 negligence cases a day.
“For the past few weeks the airwaves have been filled with commercials from law firms urging people to hurry up and sue someone before Oklahoma’s new lawsuit reform laws took affect,” said Bingman, R-Sapulpa. “On Monday, there was an increase of more than 3000 percent in the number of negligence cases filed on an average day. It looks like more than a few trial lawyers were worried about getting their last helping of jackpot justice.”
Bingman noted many of those commercials focused on the cap on noneconomic damages, which may have led many individuals to believe $350,000 was the most they would ever be able to receive.
“That seems to be very misleading, because there is absolutely no cap on actual damages,” Bingman said. “No one will be denied justice because of these reforms—but it means that countless small businesses and hometown clinics will be better able to keep their doors open, continuing to employ Oklahomans and ensuring access to medical care in cities and towns throughout our state.”