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State Chamber of Oklahoma reacts to Beason v. I.E. Miller Services, Inc. ruling


State Chamber of Oklahoma reacts to Beason v. I.E. Miller Services, Inc. ruling

Oklahoma City (April 23, 2019) – After the Oklahoma Supreme Court issued its ruling in Beason v. I.E. Miller Services, Inc., Fred Morgan, president and CEO of the State Chamber of Oklahoma, released the following statement:

“Today’s decision by the Oklahoma Supreme Court stating that the cap on non-economic damages for bodily injuries is a special law and therefore unconstitutional flies in the face of legal precedent.

“As Justices Edmonson and Fischer state in their dissent, ‘[a] legislative cap on damages…is included within the historically recognized role of a legislature in defining, creating, or abolishing a legal cause of action.’”

“Our Legislature acted intentionally to curb unlimited damages in lawsuits where bodily injuries are claimed.  As Justice Winchester noted in his dissent, the cap can be lifted if a plaintiff can prove by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant was grossly negligent, fraudulent, intentional, or showed reckless disregard for others. However, the Legislature also created a system by which plaintiffs with meritorious cases could ensure their injuries would be remedied.”

“By undoing this law, the judicial branch of our government has sent a message to job-creators: ‘Don’t come to Oklahoma. You’ll risk a lawsuit with uncapped damages!’”

“When will the Legislature say enough is enough and do something to curb judicial activism?”