Tort reform efforts move forward

There are many challenges which Southern states must overcome in making themselves more competitive. Among these challenges are addressing education and workforce quality, taxes, infrastructure, and local quality of life.

Another major challenge is reining in the litigious environment in which excessive judgments cost businesses and families, as well as scare the heck out of businesses looking to set up shop here in the Palmetto State. When companies are looking to open up a new plant and research shows that State A has higher potential litigation risks than States B, C, or D, employers will often strike State A off their lists of locations to visit.

While tort reform helps protect our state's competitiveness, it ultimately benefits our state's families by helping keep jobs, attract new ones, and reduce the costs of goods and services. As a businessman, Senator Larry Martin knows the problem businesses face and he's working to meet this challenge head-on with his recently-filed legislation seeking to reform civil litigation.

There's a lot in this legislation, but here are some items that stood out to us as no-brainers:

  • Allowing the non-use of seat belts to be considered in reducing awards when non-use is believed to have contributed to injuries.
  • Limiting appeals bonds to $25 million for businesses and as low as $1 million for small businesses.
  • Limiting non-economic damages to $1.05 million.
  • Creating accountability and standards for the hiring of outside legal counsel by the State of South Carolina.

Martin's legislation is a step in the right direction and it deserves a fair hearing from legislators.

1 Response to "Tort reform efforts move forward"

  1. Cotton 29/1/09 11:26
    Say what you will about Mark Sanford - and plenty have - but he's consistently sought to push tort reform during his six years in office.

    This legislation is indeed another step in the right direction for South Carolina. Why any outside business or entrepreneur would want to come into an environment with a reputation for being a "judicial hellhole" is beyond me.

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