Remarkable changes to Oklahoma’s civil justice system

justiceRep. Dan Sullivan, R-Tulsa is the author of the latest civil justice bill passed by the House Judiciary Committee this week. The bill will move to the full house for vote. Sullivan’s motive is to bring some common sense into civil matters.

The bill is voluminous containing 99 separate sections. It is 233 pages long. the bill is aimed at ending a system of “jackpot justice” that has forced the cost of health care and other services and products to go up.

The legislation would cap pain and suffering damages at $300,000 and require a certificate from an expert that a lawsuit has merit before it can proceed in state court. In order to stop frivolous lawsuits the bill modified the guidelines of class-action lawsuit and capped punitive damages at $2 million.

Some democrats voted against the bill. They strongly opposed the bill arguing that the bill would unconstitutionally place barriers in front of citizens who want to file a lawsuit when they are injured by others.

When Sullivan demanded that the legislation was a “substantial effort to provide comprehensive lawsuit reform.” But Rep. Richard Morrissette, an Oklahoma City attorney retorted that it was a pure political document.



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