Thursday, April 19, 2007

Democrats Comment on SB 507

Sen. Richard Lerblance, D-Harshorne: "I challenge you to find in these 46 sections where the wronged person is helped."

Sen. Mike Morgan, D-Stillwater: “This is another extreme solution looking for a problem. We don’t have jackpot justice in Oklahoma. Our doctors aren’t leaving the state. Big corporations won today and Oklahomans lost,” Morgan said. “But we’re not going to give up the fight. We’re going to continue to work to ensure equal access to justice for everyone no matter the size of their bank account.”

Sen. Charlie Laster, D-Shawnee: "The most business-friendly organization in the country says Oklahoma’s court system is moderate. This legislation is extreme and will dramatically tip the scales of justice against everyday Oklahomans.”

Sen. Debbe Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City: “It is one thing to address frivolous lawsuits. But it is a terrible injustice when legislation goes so far as to allow nursing homes and hospitals to hide details about the injury or death of a patient that their employees caused.:

Gov. Brad Henry: “The tort reform legislation is very lengthy and very complex, and I have not had an opportunity to review it in detail yet. I will spend the days to come studying the measure to determine if it is in the best interest of all Oklahomans.

“Equal access to the justice system is one of the most important and basic rights granted to our citizens under the U.S. Constitution and the Oklahoma Constitution.

It is critical that any reform measure preserve or strengthen that basic right as it attempts to reduce costs associated with the system.”

The bill passed on party lines with the exception of Sen. Paddack, D-Ada, who voted for the bill with 24 Republicans.

On the question of passage of the bill, the vote resulted as follows:
Aye: Aldridge, Anderson, Barrington, Bingman, Branan, Brogdon, Brown, Coates, Coffee, Crain, Ford, Johnson (M), Jolley, Justice, Lamb, Laughlin, Mazzei, Myers, Nichols, Paddack, Reynolds, Schulz, Sykes, Wilcoxson and Williamson.--25.

Nay: Adelson, Ballenger, Bass, Burrage, Corn, Crutchfield, Easley, Eason McIntyre, Garrison, Gumm, Ivester, Johnson (C), Laster, Leftwich, Lerblance, Morgan, Rabon, Rice, Riley, Sparks, Sweeden, Wilson and Wyrick.--23.

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