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Widener Univ. School of Law

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

OK Tort Reform Compromise Forged

Republicans in the Oklahoma legislature reached out to trial lawyers and patient advocacy groups to forge a tort-reform compromise that the governor will likely sign.  The major features of the bill:

  1. A redefinition of what constitutes a frivolous lawsuit, combined with a strengthening of summary judgment rules;
  2. A certificate of merit requirement that covers all types of cases (not just med mal) and includes a pauper exception;
  3. A cap on non-economic damages of $400,000, but an exception that a judge or jury may waive the cap in cases of gross negligence or catastrophic injury;
  4. A requirement that the state explore purchasing a $20M insurance policy to create an indemnity fund for non-economic damages in excess of $400,000;
  5. Changes to joint-and-several liability rules; and
  6. Various class action changes

  Extended coverage is here and here.

--CJR

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/tortsprof/2009/05/ok-tort-reform-compromise-forged.html

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