08232017Headline:

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

HomeOklahomaOklahoma City

Email Guest Author
Guest Author
Guest Author
Contributor •

Senate Bill 824

Comments Off

In further draconian efforts to add additional barriers to those injured by negligent parties, we are once again faced with tort reform. I won’t get into Senator Coffee’s bill which seeks blanket immunity for the medical profession and corporations, or even discuss the merits of this bill. However, I do want to discuss a floor amendment which frankly is asinine. For years I have been begging for those supporting tort reform (aka corporate and medical immunity) to provide one shred of empirical fact evidence that suggests it helps the common Joe. Not surprisingly, no one is ever able to come up with a shred of evidence other than political talking points that are simply untrue. Now, a republican senator in the state has added a floor amendment to SB 824 seeking to create evidence for frivolous lawsuits. As I will show you, it is possibly the silliest thing I have ever seen and shows how desperate these politicians are becoming to provide substance to their lies.

I’m going to provide the entire text for this amendment below. However, I first want to give a synopsis of the bill. It essentially says the following: “Any person who has information or believes that a frivolous lawsuit has been filed in any court in this state may report such lawsuit to the clerk of the Supreme Court… the clerk shall maintain a public record of all reports filed regarding frivolous lawsuits… There shall not be a requirement that the individual who makes the claim disclose his or her identity or that the parties of the lawsuit be identified. The filing of such a report shall not be the grounds for any claim of libel or slander against the individual who filed the report.”

With that quoted from the amendment, what this politician is so desperately trying to do is allow ANYONE to say a suite is frivolous and make it public record as to the number of those complaints. Then, those alleging such have immunity for their defamatory comments. This flies in the face of due process and is unconstitutional. Further, every defendant who is sued can say its frivolous. You know, it’s kind of like asking a criminal when facing the death penalty if they did it. Usually they want to say “no” and this is how corporations and doctors can once again try to give our noble profession a black eye with false and misleading information to the public.

Here is the entire text: “SECTION 9. NEW LAW A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 2011.2 of Title 12, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows: Any person who has information or believes that a frivolous lawsuit has been filed in any court in this state may report such lawsuit to the clerk of the Supreme Court. The clerk shall maintain a public record of all reports filed regarding frivolous lawsuits and shall provide to the Chief Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court, the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by February 1 of each year a report of the number of frivolous lawsuit complaints that have been reported to the clerk during the previous calendar year and shall identify the county and case number of the lawsuits that have been reported. The clerk of the Supreme Court shall develop a form that is to be used for reporting such claims, which shall be made available on the internet and shall only require the name of the county in which the alleged claim was filed and the case number of the case that is alleged to have been a frivolous complaint. There shall not be a requirement that the individual who makes the claim disclose his or her identity or that the parties of the lawsuit be identified. The filing of such a report shall not be the grounds for any claim of libel or slander against the individual who filed the report. This act shall not alter the duty of any attorney in this state to continue to comply with the code of professional conduct in regards to reporting the existence of frivolous lawsuits under Rule 8.3.”