Tulsa World, “Legislature OKs lawsuit reforms.”
Daily Oklahoman, “Tort reform bill goes to Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry.” The governor is inclined to sign HB 1603, a spokesman says; in 2007 he vetoed reform legislation.
The Daily Oklahoman summarizes the key provisions:
- A $400,000 cap on noneconomic damages for all negligence cases. The cap may be lifted if a judge or jury determines there is permanent physical injury, catastrophic injury, gross negligence or recklessness. A previous version of the tort reform bill called for a $300,000 cap. The caps would not be in place until May 2011.
- Cases alleging negligence by a physician must be proven by “clear and convincing evidence.”
- In cases where the settlement is coupons, the attorney shall also receive the fee in coupons.
- Several changes to how class-action lawsuits are handled, including a limit on allowing nonresidents to be included in a class-action suit in Oklahoma.
- An expert would have to certify that a professional negligence case had merit before it could proceed.
- Information presented during a physician peer review session would remain confidential and could not be used in a lawsuit.
Earlier posts here.
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