Legal Reform Falters in South Carolina
May 4, 2010
South Carolina ranked 39th on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s 2010 list of state legal climates – well behind its neighbors in North Carolina (17th) and Georgia (27th). So after the state House passed strong, bipartisan legal reform legislation, what does the state Senate do? Water down the bill to the point of irrelevance – or worse, according to Fitsnews.com.
Cam Crawford of the South Carolina Civil Justice Coalition calls the current version “unacceptable” and called on Senators to put some teeth back in the bill. The problem is, the South Carolina Senate is stacked with trial lawyer/legislators dedicated to keeping the litigation mill running, such as “No Recovery, No Fee” Luke Rankin who specializes in motor vehicle and personal injury lawsuits when he’s not killing legal reform legislation in the Senate.
One perennial “sticking point,” says Fitsnews.com: seat belts. Seat belts? Yes, you see, under current South Carolina law, juries are not allowed to hear evidence about seat belt use in auto accident claims. Since people who don’t wear seat belts suffer the greatest injuries – often the only injuries – in auto accidents, the South Carolina legal system – with the help of trial lawyers like “No Recovery, No Fee” Rankin – rewards them for their irresponsibility.
It’s pro-trial lawyer provisions like this that keep South Carolina mired near the bottom when it comes to business-friendly legal reform climates.