( – promoted by OKWatchdog)
The state House has approved yet another piece of legislation to place control of the state’s courts in the hands of politicians and insurance companies.
House Bill 1570 requires plaintiffs in civil lawsuits to seek expensive affidavits that attest to the case’s merit. These affidavits cost thousands of dollars and can make it impossible for injured Oklahomans to receive their day in court.
The bill’s author, Rep. Colby Schwartz, claims “frivolous lawsuits” clog the state’s legal system. Yet the facts show he’s dead wrong.
From 2003-07 medical negligence filings decreased by 29.7 percent in the state’s 13 most populous counties. Moreover, 39 counties – 51 percent of the state’s total – had fewer than give medical malpractice lawsuits from 2004-07.
Schwartz also claims that lawsuits are increasing health care costs. Yet if medical malpractice payments to injured Oklahomans were eliminated entirely, health care costs would decrease by well less than 1 percent.
Only in the twisted logic of some legislative leaders is kicking sand in the face of injured Oklahomans making the system fairer.