NFIB, Small Business Urge Lawmakers to Vote YES on Lawsuit Reform

Date: February 24, 2023

One frivolous claim could put a small business out of business

NFIB State Director Hunter Loggins and NFIB members testified before the Senate Transportation Committee on Feb. 22 in support of two bills that would help reduce frivolous lawsuits against Georgia businesses. The members who testified were Mae Williams, president and CEO of CKL Engineers LLC, and John Sambdman, CEO of Samson Tours Inc., a charter bus company based in Atlanta.

Senate Bill 191, sponsored by state Sen. Shawn Still, would eliminate language from Georgia statutes that allows plaintiffs to name transportation companies and their insurance companies in the same lawsuit. The committee voted in favor of the bill and sent it to the full Senate.

Senate Bill 196, sponsored by state Sen. Ben Watson, would have allowed Georgia juries to consider an occupant’s failure to use a safety belt when they determine issues of fault and damages. The seatbelt bill failed to get through the committee, and appears dead for this year’s legislative session.

“This legislation won’t completely stop lawsuit abuse in Georgia, SB 191 will definitely help reduce insurance rates and reduce the cost of doing business in Georgia,” Loggins said. “Georgia has fared better than a lot of states these past few years, but inflation on top of supply chain and labor issues have taken a toll on small businesses. The cost of defending itself against just one frivolous claim could be enough to put a small business out of business, even if the claim is without merit and is eventually thrown out of court.”

Watch a replay of the committee hearing below. Loggins begins NFIB’s presentation at about the 59:40 mark.

2/22/23 – Committee on Transportation from Georgia State Senate on Vimeo.

Related Content: Small Business News | Georgia

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