Oklahoma lawmakers will consider more than 30 bills aimed at eliminating frivolous lawsuits and limiting court awards this special session after the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled the Legislature included too many topics in one bill during a previous effort at lawsuit reform.
Following is a partial list of some of the major bills being considered and what those bills are attempting to accomplish:
• Senate Bill 1: Requires a person filing a lawsuit alleging professional negligence to pay for and obtain an affidavit from an expert attesting to the merits of the lawsuit before being able to proceed in court.
• SB 9: Limits damages for noneconomic losses in a lawsuit to $350,000 unless the person being sued committed acts that were grossly negligent, fraudulent, intentional, done with malice or involved the reckless disregard of the rights of others.
• SB 12: Protects food manufacturers, distributors and marketers from civil lawsuits stemming from obesity or weight gain.
• SB 13: In product liability lawsuits, this measure would protect manufacturers and sellers from liability if their products are inherently unsafe and known to be unsafe by ordinary consumers.
• SB 14: Sets out rules for asbestos and silicosis lawsuits.
• SB 15: Places liability limits on corporations that innocently acquired other businesses that caused asbestos-related health problems.
• House Bill 1002: Exempts from liability school district employees who use necessary and reasonable force to control and discipline students.
• HB 1004: Exempts firearms manufacturers, distributors and sellers from liability if the weapon works properly but is used to shoot somebody.
• HB 1005: Gives the state Health Department authority to regulate voluntary health practitioners during times of emergency declarations.
• HB 1006: Sets forth procedures for judges to sanction parties who file frivolous lawsuits.
• HB 1009: Establishes criminal penalties for students who assault school employees.
• HB 1010: Prevents attorneys who represent school districts and administrators during disciplinary proceedings for school personnel from also serving as judges or hearing officers at due process hearings.
• HB 1013: Establishes rules for class action lawsuits and places limits on nonresident participation in state class action lawsuits.