Meaningful Legal Reforms Take Effect July 1

Date: April 16, 2024

The measures will level the playing field for Indiana's small businesses

This year, the General Assembly passed Indiana’s most significant business legal reforms in decades. These measures will provide significant benefits to small businesses when they take effect on July 1.

HEA 1160: Civil Proceeding Advance Payment Contracts (Lawsuit Lending)

House Enrolled Act 1160 expands the third-party lawsuit lending statute to include commercial litigants. It prohibits foreign entities from lending money to plaintiffs pursuing litigation against Indiana-based companies. Additionally, plaintiffs are barred from disclosing any proprietary information received during litigation to lenders.

The issue of lawsuit lending has posed numerous challenges for small businesses involved in civil disputes. NFIB State Director Natalie Robinson believes HEA 1160 will address several of these issues and establish protections for intellectual property.

SEA 226: Attorneys’ Fees

Senate Enrolled Act 226 increases the fees that attorneys may receive if a court’s final judgment is less favorable than a settlement offer. Under this law, attorney’s fees, costs, and expenses that can be awarded are capped at $7,500.

“This new law will create an incentive for parties to settle civil disputes and avoid costly, time-consuming litigation,” Robinson said.

HEA 1090: Transportation Matters

This law allows juries to consider seatbelt use when determining damages. It permits defendants to argue that the plaintiff’s injuries were more severe because they weren’t wearing seatbelts.

“Allowing this type of evidence during trial can lead to fairer outcomes,” Robinson said.

Related Content: Small Business News | Indiana

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