Leaders hold press conference to urge passage of tort reform

On Wednesday, Governor Nikki Haley, Speaker Bobby Harrell (Charleston), Senator Larry Martin (Pickens) and leaders of the business community held a press conference to urge passage of meaningful tort reform this session. Over the last several years, the business community in an effort to create a more business friendly climate and compete with fellow southern states on recruiting industry has been advocating for legislation that caps punitive damages and discourages frivolous law suits. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, South Carolina ranks 39th out of 50 states for fairness of its litigation environment, which is consistently reported as being a critical factor when businesses are deciding where to locate.
The South Carolina Fairness in Civil Justice Act, H.3375 (Harrell), passed the House overwhelmingly but was significantly watered down in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senators Martin and Peeler are expected to offer an amendment on the floor that will put some teeth back into the measure. The bill is currently first up in Special Order status on the Senate calendar however the legislative clock is ticking so time is of essence if the bill is to pass this year.

05-10-2011 05:04 (EDT)