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Oklahoma Tort Reform Signed Into Law-Sad Day for Oklahoma Victims


In case you missed it, here is a postscript on my Oklahoma tort reform bill report. Governor Brad Henry signed House Bill 1603 into law on May 22, 2009.

On the assumption that some will not want to read the attached article (it does cause a justice seeker to gag), here are some block quotes from a few legislators and commentators that expose them as perpetrators or dupes of the myth that tort reform, somehow, saves jobs, leads to quality healthcare, and improves the business climate. I realize that IB is a professional site and restraint is important, but WHAT A CROCK! Here goes:

"This is a huge day for Oklahoma,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City. "We have made it possible for Oklahoma to keep our best and brightest physicians, and assure that those legitimately wronged will have their day in court.”

Do you believe this baloney?! How does a low damage cap on serious injuries assure someone will "have their day in court". How does limited accountability keep anyone but those who maim and kill with impunity. Here’s more:

House Speaker Chris Benge, R-Tulsa, said the measure is "true reform that will ensure access to quality, affordable health care while encouraging economic development and jobs creation in our state.”

If there is no accountability, Mr. Speaker, there is no ‘quality': how does restricting access to justice to those who most need it serve to ‘encourage economic development’? Here’s another:

"This comprehensive package will create jobs, increase health care accessibility in all corners of the state and show outside companies that Oklahoma is open for business.”

Guess who said that? A Gold star for anyone who said senior vice president of operations at The State Chamber of Commerce, a guy by the name of Mike Seney (rhymes with Cheney?).

To my colleague from Hawaii, Wayne Parsons: If the lights are on in Oklahoma; there is a serious power shortage. May 22, 2009 is truly a sad day for Oklahoma tort victims.


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  1. Mike Bryant says:
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    Very good post on a very sad issue. The reform garbage dress up as some kind of stimulus remedy, is really only for the insurance companies and at fault defendants. But that’s who the people you quoted are beholding to.

  2. Truckie D says:
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    To me, the interesting part was the taxpayer funded physician negligence fund. I think after a few large damage awards (particularly if they’re the result of a few individuals), that provision will be rethought. To change the rest of it, it’ll probably take some gross miscarriage of justice to stir up any action.

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    Great post! And yes it made it all the way to Hawaii. These guys will be exposed if we keep the lights turned on all across the country and let the people know that their rights are being sold to the highest bidder. In this case it is the insurance industry. I hope that patients realize that if you are sick get out of Texas and Oklahoma. The standard of care for medical care in those states will put all patients at risk.