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Pennsylvania Tort Reform More On A Conversation Between Lawyer And Accountant

September 13, 2011, ERIE, PA — Earlier this week, I posted a copy of an e-mail I’d sent to my accountant after she’d written and asked about Pennsylvania’s new law which largely abolished joint and several liability. She’d wanted to know how I thought the change in Pennsylvania law would affect her. I told her it wouldn’t affect her (probably), largely because the greatest impact of Pennsylvania’s new liability law will be borne by the relatively small number of people who are seriously injured as a result of the combined negligence of two or more other people.

She patiently read through my rant and then sent me a reply. She was surprised by my response. Apparently, people lobbying for the new law (the “Fair Share Act” or “Wrongdoer Protection Law”) had told accountants that the changes were important and necessary to protect them from unfair liability. She’d been told that the new law would help her with her malpractice insurance premiums.

Well, the new law was effective June 28, 2011. I asked her if she’d received a rebate yet from her Pennsylvania malpractice insurance carrier. “Ha, ha,” she replied, “a rebate from an insurance company? You’ve got to be kidding.”

It is funny, I suppose, to ask whether anyone has received the promised discount on Pennsylvania insurance premiums. It’s funny because none really ever expected that the promises were real. I’m not sure I understand it yet but it’s nevertheless true that the current crop of tort reformists has had great success in convincing the public to support their anti-civil justice measures with promises of reduced insurance costs even though everyone knows that Pennsylvania insurance companies are not going to reduce their premiums!

I’m not sure how to end this but I would encourage readers to report to me if they receive any notice of a rebate or premium reduction related to the changes in Pennsylvania’s joint and several liability law . I promise I will investigate and report on any claims here. Frankly, I’ll be surprised if I hear a single report of discount or rebate from a Pennsylvania insurance company but we’ll see.

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The Erie injury attorneys at Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. have an established track record of trying civil cases. To meet with Tim George or Eric Purchase and discuss your Erie injury case, call today: 814-580-5017 or toll free 877-505-9548. The consult is free and we won’t charge a fee in your injury case unless we recover money for you.

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