Similar to medical malpractice liability caps from this past month, this bill will be debated in the House Tuesday, March 28th.
This bill seeks to limit the damages owed by a trucking company in the event of an accident causing injury or death. It also seeks to limit direct claims against the employer for negligent hiring, training, supervision, entrustment, and similar claims. While the company is still liable for bad actions by the employee, they would not be liable for any bad decisions made within the company. This bill also caps the claims at $2 million regardless of how many plaintiffs there are. (Ie. One injured party vs an entire family being injured in an accident) Why again are the people being hindered from due process of the law instead of limiting the bad actors in these situations?
Link to read the bill: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=90&ba=Hf201
(Senate bill is similar)
ACTION NEEDED –
Email the members of the full House to let them know in the BODY of the email that you OPPOSE trucking company liability caps. Individual emails are preferred however bcc email is better than no email. Personal stories on the impact this bill would have or have had are helpful. Keep your email short and to the point.
Subject line: Trucking company tort reform, HF201, trucking company immunity
BILL TALKING POINTS
Talking points are below, for your reference, personal stories about how the bill impacts you are best. Keep it to as few sentences as possible. Anything longer will not be read.
- Caps for trucking company liability have NOT been enacted in ANY other state. Why is Iowa pushing to be the first for this and what need is it serving?
- What effect will this have on hiring practices by trucking companies? Will this put more Iowans at risk by hiring risky drivers or skimping on the amount they are trained? Will they force drivers to drive when they are not rested enough?
- This bill limits the amount of information a jury is given to determine who is at fault and the damages that were incurred. Without full knowledge of the situation the jury is deprived of necessary information to bring justice.
- The lack of defining “plaintiff” in section 2 along with a $1 million cap could put families involved in an accident at risk of not being awarded amounts that are just.
- Nothing in section 3 limits the new punitive damage language to just trucking accidents, rather it could apply to any cases seeking punitive damages.
- This section also further limits the ability of a victim to seek punitive damages, even in cases of intentional wrongful conduct.
- Violates the 7th Amendment. Why is the Iowa legislature acting as judge and jury for citizens’ cases they have no knowledge of and will not be involved with in the future? This is not the role of the legislature or the government and has been the primary argument in many lawsuits striking down other civil tort caps in other states.
- 7TH AMENDMENT TO THE U.S. CONSTITUTION: IN SUITS AT COMMON LAW, WHERE THE VALUE IN CONTROVERSY SHALL EXCEED TWENTY DOLLARS, THE RIGHT OF TRIAL BY JURY SHALL BE PRESERVED, AND NO FACT TRIED BY A JURY, SHALL BE OTHERWISE RE-EXAMINED IN ANY COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, THEN ACCORDING TO THE RULES OF THE COMMON LAW.
- Will this law put the state in a lawsuit similar to other states that have struck down these noneconomic damage caps as unconstitutional?