Lawsuit reform passes OK Senate

The Oklahoma Senate continued to work on lawsuit reform legislation Monday.  Senate Bill 862, by Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore, received bi-partisan approval by a vote of 32-15.

If signed into law, the bill will eliminate joint and several liability.  The measure will protect defendants from judgments that exceed their liability.  SB 862 will ensure that defendants remain responsible for the portion of damages to which they are at fault.   

“No one should have to pay for the wrongs of others,” said Sykes.

Under current law, defendants can be responsible for paying a higher percentage of awards to plaintiffs, beyond the percentage of their fault, based on their ability to pay.  

President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, said that he was pleased by the passage of additional lawsuit reform legislation.  

“This is an example of common sense lawsuit reform,” said Bingman.  “We should not require anyone to be responsible for damages beyond their fault.”

The bill will now move to the House of Representatives for further consideration.