Chamber Wants Action on Punitive Damage Bill

By Wolfe, Lou Anne | THE JOURNAL RECORD, February 2, 1994 | Go to article overview

Chamber Wants Action on Punitive Damage Bill


Wolfe, Lou Anne, THE JOURNAL RECORD


Journal Record Staff Reporter

Leaders of the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce Industry are sore that a chamber-sponsored bill to tame punitive damage awards will not be heard this year by the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee.

At a legislative briefing luncheon Tuesday for reporters, chamber President Richard Rush said it was a "travesty" that Judiciary Chairman Bill Settle, D-Muskogee, elected not to hear House Bill 2470.

David Rainbolt, chairman of the chamber's Civil Justice Reform Committee, said the bill was "even handed, fair and fundamental _ so it's getting biased treatment.

"The $135,000 the trial lawyers spent in the 1992 election cycle has spoken," said Rainbolt, who is chief executive officer of BancFirst in Oklahoma City.

Contacted later, Settle said he's not hearing any bills on the punitive damage issue because federal legislation is pending. He said the committee would consider bills on the subject next year.

"There are several bills regarding this area, and all of the bills are currently being discussed in Congress," he said. "Probably, there will be legislation passed this year in regard to these areas, and we'll have to take a look at it next year, with the new federal legislation."

House Bill 2470, by Rep. Andy Bass, D-El Reno, would require clear and convincing evidence of wanton and reckless disregard for the rights of another person, oppression, fraud or malice in order to warrant punitive damages.

If the evidence was beyond a reasonable doubt, a jury could award damages "for the sake of example, and by way of punishing the defendant."

Further, a defendant's net worth could not be considered in making a punitive damage award.

"The higher burden of proof would encourage innocent parties to avoid settling frivolous lawsuits and go to court and defend themselves _ without worrying that confused juries would put them out of business," Rainbolt said.

Current law requires a "preponderance" of evidence to make a punitive damage award.

Chamber members felt their bill was even handed because it recognized that punitive damages do have a place in the justice system, Rainbolt said. "There are mean-spirited people out there who should be punished severely, so there was no attempt to put caps on the awards," he said.

Moreover, "the bill didn't address the underlying determination of actual damages," Rainbolt said. "We're dealing literally with the punishment of the defendant."

Beyond the disappointment of not going forward with the punitive damage bill, chamber staff members listed a number of measures they'll be following as the Legislature gets under way on Monday. Following is a thumbnail sketch: The chamber's Small Business Council has recommended that the House Special Committee on Small Business be elevated to full standing committee status. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Chamber Wants Action on Punitive Damage Bill
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.