TORT REFORM & SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY
SB 117 sponsored by Senator Tony Luetkemeyer does 3 things and they are all BAD.
- Reduces the statute of limitations on personal liability from 5 years to 2 years. This means that if someone causes you harm, you've got 2 years to file suit against them to recoup your losses. If you ask, the republicans will say we need these tort reform bills to avoid "frivolous lawsuits." However, reducing statute of limitations is also pushing citizens to file suits sooner and not giving them ample time to settle outside of court.
Maybe in some cases, two years is enough. However, in many cases it's not. What about if your kids are enduring surgeries, therapies or recovering from trauma? Two years isn't enough and you are left with no ability to financially recover from whatever harm has been done.
- Reduces the statute of limitations regarding uninsured and underinsured motorists insurance from 10 years to 2 years. Again - who is this benefiting? Not citizens. Have you ever had to deal with insurance companies regarding an underinsured motorist situation? If you start asking your friends, it won't take you long to find out that two years is definitely not enough.
- Sovereign Immunity. IMHO this is the worst part of the bill even though I already hate it. Senator Leutkemeyer wants to give sovereign immunity to every private contractor doing business with any public entity in the state. This would apply to state government, public schools, public colleges, MU healthcare, all municipal governments, fire districts, etc. Definition & examples below.
- "Sovereign Immunity" means there is NO liability. They are completely immune from any. liability issues except for two things: 1) car wrecks where a state vehicle is involved and the driver is at fault, and 2) state facilities are in disrepair and someone is hurt
- Road construction crews. Accidents due to lack of oversight on construction site? Sorry - they're not responsible. You may be dead or have dead family members, severely handicapped, car totaled, kids hurt...doesn't matter. It's on you and there's no recourse.
- Public school contracts. Think playground equipment, data management, computer hardware & software, athletic equipment, busses & transportation service.... something happen to your kiddo? Sorry. It's not their fault.
- MU Healthcare. No more malpractice of any type for any doctors contracted with that hospital. Did they. make a mistake with a knee surgery and you got a faulty joint replacement? Sorry. It's not their problem. You're on your own.
- Firefighters. Got a faulty oxygen tank and a firefighter is now injured for life? Can't help you. It's not their fault.
- And the is goes on and on and on and on. The list is so long it's mind-boggling!
In essence, this bill is creating two classes of people.
1) Citizens with nearly no rights to actually be compensated for personal harm being done, and
2) private businesses contracting with the state government who have COMPLETE immunity from any harm they might do.
Talk about class warfare!
SB 117 has already passed through committee and is heading for the senate floor for debate and perfection. This means we have only one more chance to stop it before it leaves the Senate and goes to the House.
PLEASE call and email your own senator as well as all our more conservative or new senators who, I hope, will work together to stop the from going any further.
Senator Mike Moon. email@example.com
Senator Bill Eigel. firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Rick Brattin. email@example.com
Senator Jill Carter. firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Ben Brown. email@example.com
Senator Denny Hoskins. firstname.lastname@example.org