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Pa. House passes Fair Share Act

The state House of Representatives on Monday passed the Fair Share Act, which would eliminate joint liability for defendants in injury and liability court cases.

The act, also known as HB 1, would not require defendants with less than 60 percent of liability in a case to pay for the whole award if other parties could not afford to pay. Those smaller parties would pay only their percentage of the award if the change is signed into law.

“(The act) simply protects someone who is only minimally responsible for an injury from being held financially responsible for 100 percent of a jury award,” the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania President and CEO Carolyn F. Scanlan said in a statement.

The House approved the bill by a 112-88 vote. It has to clear the state Senate and be signed by Gov. Tom Corbett, who supports such legislation.

The Senate is considering a similar bill, SB 500, but it would change less about current joint and several liability laws when compared with the House version, said Roger Baumgarten, an association spokesman.

Jim T. Ryan

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