Arizona Tort Legislation to Promote Growth and Jobs Moves Forward with Support from Arizona Technology Council and Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry Researchers conclude legal reforms that curb exposure to liability lawsuits create additional jobs and increase productivity and wages

 

PHOENIX, Feb. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In a joint effort to end lawsuit abuse and ensure that businesses receive the fair, efficient, and consistent justice system they deserve, the Public Policy Committee of the Arizona Technology Council and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry today voiced strong support for recently introduced Arizona Tort Legislation that the two organizations recently worked together to define.

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"We support the principal that it is important to fairly distribute awards to those who are truly harmed, but not unfairly distributed to legal counsel who often use the tort system as an industry in and of itself," said Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council.  "By reforming the current legislation to lower tort costs and litigation risks, we are committed to having Arizona's system of tort viewed by business as a key reason for locating in our state."

The first session of the 2012 Arizona State Legislature is now considering two bills that would amend existing tort rules. House Bill 2544 sponsored by Representative Ted Vogt, would give businesses an enhanced ability to obtain attorneys' fees for frivolous cases. Current law already provides for the award of attorneys' fees when a claim or defense is brought without "substantial justification"—i.e., a party must show that it is harassing, groundless, and not made in good faith.  The proposed legislation would remove the requirement to show harassment as part of a frivolous claim. "Harassment" is a very subjective term and hard to prove, thus the need for the legislation.

Also under consideration is Senate Bill 1336, sponsored by Senator Al Melvin, which would allow manufacturers whose products comply with a myriad of safety rules and regulations established by federal and state governments, to use such compliance as an affirmative defense against a defect claim. Currently, manufacturers are still subject to suit by plaintiffs who frivolously claim that the product was defective, despite compliance with these regulations.

"Arizona has experienced significant progress and big improvements in shaping our tax, education and tort reform policies to enable our industries to compete in a global, innovative economy," said Glenn Hamer, president & CEO, Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. "We must continue our diligence in lowering tort costs and/or tort litigation risks relative to other states."

In the U.S. Tort Liability Index: 2010 Report from the Pacific Research Institute, scholars analyze the costs and risks of each of the 50 state's tort system conclude that Arizona is ranked number 16. The report, now in its third edition, has been influential because the rankings are based on hard data, not opinions or speculation. The report also cites research that statistically demonstrates legal reforms that curb exposure to liability lawsuits create additional jobs and increase productivity and wages.

The Arizona Technology Council continuously monitors federal, state and local policies that impact the growth of Arizona's technology industry. Through the collective strength of its members, the Council informs and educates policymakers on issues that are important to the state's technology-based industries. A document that outlines Arizona Technology Council's policies and principles in the area of Tax, Education and Tort Reform can be viewed and downloaded at http://bit.ly/wpaqpT.

About the Arizona Technology Council

The Arizona Technology Council is Arizona's premier trade association for science and technology companies.  Recognized as having a diverse professional business community, Council members work toward furthering the advancement of technology in Arizona through leadership, education, legislation and social action. The Arizona Technology Council offers numerous events, educational forums and business conferences that bring together leaders, managers, employees and visionaries to make an impact on the technology industry.  These interactions contribute to the Council's culture of growing member businesses and transforming technology in Arizona. To become a member or to learn more about the Arizona Technology Council, please visit http://www.aztechcouncil.org.

About the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry

The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is committed to advancing Arizona's competitive position in the global economy by advocating free-market policies that stimulate economic growth and prosperity for all Arizonans.  To learn more please visit http://www.azchamber.com/.

For more information please contact:

 

Media contact:

Organization contact:

Linda Capcara

Steven G. Zylstra

Global Connect Communications

Arizona Technology Council

lcapcara@globalconnectpr.com

szylstra@aztechcouncil.org

(480) 229 -7090

(602) 343-8324 x 104

 

 

SOURCE Arizona Technology Council



RELATED LINKS
http://www.aztechcouncil.org
http://www.azchamber.com

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