Replace the current system of electing judges with merit selection. Stop venue shopping in personal injury suits. Enact a statute of repose in product liability cases. Shield innocent sellers from product liability suits.
Pennsylvania’s billboard lawyers are drooling over the potential end to a rule that requires medical malpractice lawsuits to be tried in the county where the harm is alleged to have occurred. The reform was enacted in 2003 to help stop a medical malpractice insurance crisis that was closing hospitals and sending doctors out of state. The crisis was driven by the litigation industry filing lawsuits in the most permissive jurisdictions (usually Philadelphia) rather than the local courthouse.
Pennsylvania health care providers and the public -- as patients and future patients – received a reprieve when the Supreme Court agreed to delay reverting to a pre-2003 administrative rule allowing venue-shopping. Under current law, a medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed in the county where the harm is alleged to have occurred. If this commonsense reform is eliminated, it may trigger skyrocketing health care costs and an exodus of doctors fleeing crushing liability insurance costs, restarting the crisis Pennsylvania was in at the turn of the century.
Last week Governor Tom Wolf vetoed SB 1172, saying that the proposed changes to Pennsylvania’s Price Gouging Act would undermine consumer protections during a declared emergency, when the law kicks in automatically. Taking the governor’s veto message in its literal sense would mean that 235 of 253 lawmakers who voted for the bill (including nearly all of his Democratic colleagues) were guilty of one of two egregious governance sins when they sent the bill to his desk: they either didn’t know what was in the bill or didn’t care whether it would unfairly burden consumers.
The outing club can no longer go outside. It seems like a punchline to a bad joke, but in this case it’s the sad reality of the world we live in, and of the environment the productive sector faces every day.
After a risk assessment, Penn State University (PSU) last week severed itself from a student club, the Outing Club, which had organized hiking, canoeing and other outdoor activities at the university for 100 years.
In another year of flipping the couch cushions for spare change to balance a state budget, efforts to reduce lawsuit abuse are more important than ever. These needed reforms can greatly enhance Pennsylvania’s business competitiveness without costing the commonwealth a single dime.
The self-created image of public sector unions as the protector-of-the-little guy is being expertly debunked by a new reform group. A series of legal actions brought by the Harrisburg-based public interest law center, The Fairness Center, reveal an ugly pattern of union bullying and trampling over laws and individual rights. The cases show that unions are really about squashing potential competitive challenges (like charter schools) and forcing workers, who oppose joining a union, to pay dues to support political candidates and activities - a direct violation of state law.
The story behind the only override of a Bill Clinton veto is a cautionary one if another Clinton occupies the White House.
The corruption trial of former Speaker of the New York State Assembly, Sheldon Silver, is pulling back the curtain on some of the cozy relationships and lucrative transactions involving lawyers representing victims of asbestos exposure.
An ordinary air permit process for a pump station to an underground natural gas line in Lebanon County is getting extraordinary attention. Nearly 500 people asked the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to hold a public airing on the impact of the project; only 40 of those requests came from local residents.