Oklahoma Legislature Begins Tort Reform Special Session

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September 04, 2013

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Legislature returned to the capitol to begin a special session to re-enact a series of tort reforms that were dismissed by the state Supreme Court because they were packaged into one bill, which is not allowed under state law.  The session is the first since 2006, reports the Associated Press.

“I think this is one of the most important issues facing the state of Oklahoma,” said Governor Mary Fallin, who called for the special session. “It's important for our business climate, not only retaining businesses and attracting new businesses, but it's also important to helping with our high medical costs in the state.”

In August, ILR President Lisa Rickard penned a letter encouraging policy makers in the state to again pass the reforms:

It's vital that the Legislature re-enact HB 1603 with haste. Indeed, in one fell swoop, the Oklahoma Supreme Court has thrown out important laws that businesses have relied on over the past four years. And it goes without saying that an unstable legal system will inevitably lead to more litigation, increased costs and unnecessary burdens.

A Tulsa World editorial takes a similar view on the special session.  “The laws are important. They help the state foster business growth and attract needed medical talent. We say it shouldn't be controversial, but it probably will be.”