The State House approved two lawsuit reform bills today authored by Senator Anthony Sykes, R-Moore. By votes of 64 to 32 and 65 to 30, SB 862 and SB 865 received broad support from the full House. The bills will now proceed to the Governor’s desk.
Senate Bill 862 will eliminate joint and several liability, while Senate Bill 865 will require that a jury be given information regarding the tax impact of awards.
“In large part, lawsuit reform is about fairness, equality and accurate information,” said President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa. “These measures ensure that defendants remain responsible for an equal portion of their liability and that juries are given full and accurate information as they are faced with the task of determining an award.”
“No one should have to pay for the wrongdoing of others,” said Sen. Anthony Sykes. “Defendants should be required to pay their share of damages but no more than the amount that they are responsible; eliminating joint and several liability will guarantee that equality within the system.”
Sykes also said that juries deserve to have information regarding the tax impact on awards. “We believe that juries should have access to all information related to the judgment. Anytime we ask a jury to make a decision that will impact peoples lives we should make sure that they have access to full and accurate information.”
Both bills are a part of the Senate Republican Jobs Agenda.