When the Senate resumes its work on Tuesday –after a week off– one bill will stay in subcommittee.
Pickens Senator Larry Martin, the sponsor of a Senate Tort Reform measure says there just isn’t time is this session to get the bill through the Senate.
“There are so many questions that need to be resolved, rather than hurry it out, maybe get a three-fourths or 80 percent package to the floor, I’d like to get a 100 percent package to the floor and the best way to do probably do that is to wait until next session,” says Martin.
After hearing testimony from the insurance industry and business interests, Martin says there are strong provisions in the current bill, including, he says, “The idea of a non-economic loss cap–which is pain and suffering–which is something that we can all agree to give, and then have the benefit of lower rates, which translates into lower doctor, hospital rates, those type things that benefit all consumers. On the business side, that’s huge.”
Attorney J.P. “Pete” Strom, Jr., says its good for only one business, the insurance industry: “And what this is, is another bailout like what’s going on, on Wall Street. South Carolina citizens are going to lose their rights, South Carolina small businesses are going to lose their rights to bring law suits, and the only group that wins in this is big, big insurance companies.”
Strom opposes the bill as it stands now, so he applauds the decision to wait, saying, “This is the best news we’ve heard. We want to study this bill because when you boil down the facts and get past the insurance company soundbites, the bottom line is, the citizens of South Carolina are going to lose under this bill and we’ll be able to prove that if they give us the opportunity to do it.”
Per Senate rules, the bill can stay in subcommittee until the next session.