Coalition Mobilizes Against Penn. Auto Insurance Lawsuit Bill

Pennsylvanian city skylineA large group of interests, including representatives from the medical, insurance and business sectors, has mobilized to try and stop a bill currently making its way through the Pennsylvania State Senate.

The measure, which has already passed the state’s House of Representatives, would allow lawyers in car insurance litigation to recommend specific amounts of monetary awards for pain and suffering, according to a report in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

The newspaper quotes a letter from the group saying that “excessive damage awards result in higher consumer prices and decreased availability of service,” and accusing the bill’s backers — primarily the state’s trial lawyers’ association — of promoting it simply in order to win larger verdicts from sympathetic juries.

According to the Tribune-Review, the group also warned that the measure could increase PA auto insurance rates in the state by as much as 5 to 10 percent thanks to an uptick in “excessive” jury awards.

The legislative counsel for the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers’ Association, Mark Phenicie, told the paper that “it’s all silly. Thirty-seven other states have [similar provisions], and it hasn’t blown a hole in anything.”

Phenicie also said that, while he believes the bill would increase jury awards in some smaller cases, it would also diminish the amount in bigger ones.

About John Pirro
John Pirro is a licensed fire and casualty insurance agent specializing in various aspects of the auto insurance industry. He worked in the auto body repair industry before taking a reporting position at Online Auto Insurance News.

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