Rapp Votes for Fair Share Act to Advance Comprehensive Lawsuit Abuse Reform
4/11/2011

HARRISBURG –  State Representative Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Forest/McKean) today voted in favor of landmark lawsuit abuse reform legislation to amend Pennsylvania’s legal code to institute proportionate liability, limiting a defendant’s responsibility for damages to their share of the blame or fault in the case.

 

“Lawsuit abuse is a crime that every Pennsylvania taxpayer pays for in higher insurance premiums, less availability of skilled medical professionals and the loss of small businesses, manufacturers and other job creators,” said Rapp.   “The Fair Share Act is a common sense measure that will restore fairness and balance to Pennsylvania’s judicial system by ensuring that defendants found negligent or liable for an injury are responsible for only their share of the damages and not one penny more.”   
   

 

Enacted in the House by a margin of 112 to 88, the Fair Share Act (House Bill 1),  now advances to the Senate for consideration.

 

“Whether you are actually sued or not, the question is no longer ‘if’ or ‘when’ a frivolous lawsuit will impact you, but ‘how much?’” said Rapp.   “The loss of innovative products and services, life-saving medical technology, family sustaining jobs and, ultimately, community good will, are only some of the unfortunate consequences that can be directly linked to the rampant abuse of Pennsylvania’s civil justice system.”

 

Along with eight other states and the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania retains what lawyers refer to as full “joint liability” in lawsuits.  The Commonwealth’s current liability laws are a roadblock to prospective entrepreneurs and business owners since current law states that if there are multiple defendants named in a lawsuit, the one with the most money or “deepest pockets” can be held liable for all of the plaintiff’s damages, even if that defendant’s actions had little to do with the injuries or damages incurred.

 

“Securing final passage of the Fair Share Act, is not a Democrat or Republican issue,” said Rapp.   “It’s about preserving jobs and promoting more employment opportunities.   It’s about ensuring sustained economic growth.   It’s about maintaining affordable and convenient access to quality health care.   Most importantly, it’s about guaranteeing justice for all.”

 

For the latest legislative updates, visit RepRapp.com.

 

State Representative Kathy Rapp

65th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact: Ty McCauslin

717.772.9979 

tmccausl@pahousegop.com

RepRapp.com           

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