Lawsuit Limits Find Success in Two More States

Winning a lawsuit will become more difficult in Florida and Pennsylvania under measures recently approved by both states. The measures are the latest in a string of business-friendly changes to the civil justice system to become law in Republican-led states around the country.

Florida Governor Rick Scott signed legislation on Monday (June 27) that makes it trickier for patients to succeed in medical malpractice lawsuits against doctors, The Associated Press reports . The new law, which was the top legislative priority of the Florida Medical Association, restricts some of the testimony that patients can use to make their case, and makes it easier for doctors - rather than insurance companies - to decide whether to settle out of court, the AP notes.

In Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Corbett is expected to sign legislation that would limit the liability of some defendants in civil cases, according to the AP. Among other things, the bill would ensure that "defendants found to be less than 60 percent at fault (for negligence) would not have to pay more than their share of the damages," except in some circumstances, the AP notes. The legislation is the top priority of several business groups, including the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry.

As Stateline reported last week , at least six GOP-led states - Alabama, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin - have already approved significant lawsuit limitations this year. The spate of new laws underscores Republican efforts to win over the business community, which has long been skeptical of lawsuit rules. Democrats have opposed many of the changes, saying they will only make it more difficult for plaintiffs to be fairly compensated for injuries caused by others.

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