PCCJR Update — February 16, 2018

98 Members of PA House Vote to Perpetuate Opioid Crisis; PCCJR Featured in ATRA Judicial Hellhole Video; Another Partner in the Mission to Expose Lawsuit Abuse; If Lawyer Ads Told the Truth…

98 Members of PA House Vote to Perpetuate Opioid Crisis

That’s right. Every Democrat and more than a handful of Republicans in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted against a bill that would have helped curb opioid abuse by injured workers.

SB 936 establishes an evidence-based prescription drug formulary for the workers compensation system. This bill is designed to bring consistent and high-quality health care to injured workers by ensuring they get the appropriate medications for their needs. Similar formularies have been implemented in states such as Texas, Ohio, and California and have helped to reduce the number of injured workers who become addicted to opioid medicine. This reduces costs in the system and saves lives of injured workers. Most private and some public insurance plans use formularies to guide what medications are prescribed. Such a formulary is necessary when one considers that Pennsylvania has the second highest number of opioid pills per prescription and the third highest number of opioid prescriptions per injured worker in the nation!

SB 936 also addresses abuses that have been identified by the media when it was discovered that the Pond, Lehocky, Stern and Giordano workers compensation law firm owned a pharmacy and was bilking workers compensation by charging thousands of dollars for unproven compounded medications!

SB 936 passed the Senate by a comfortable margin of 34 to 16. But thanks to an aggressive lobbying effort spearheaded by labor and the trial bar, the vote in the House was 98-98, short of the constitutional majority needed for passage.

The good news is that those who would perpetuate the opioid crisis for their pecuniary gain are losing ground in the House. When a companion bill, HB 18, was brought before the House earlier in the session, it never came to a final vote. The House voted to recommit the bill to the House Human Services Committee. That motion passed by a vote of 102-94.

Thanks to a timely filed Motion to Reconsider, SB 936 can still be brought before the House when the votes for passage materialize. PCCJR and its coalition partners are working to secure the votes needed for passage. Workers in Pennsylvania deserve appropriate medicines that won’t put them in danger, and our employers deserve a more cost-effective system to compensate workers.

PCCJR Featured in ATRA Judicial Hellhole Video

“Every plaintiff wants to file in Philadelphia and every defendant wants to stay out of Philadelphia at all costs.” Those are the words of PCCJR Executive Director Curt Schroder in a feature video focusing in on the Pennsylvania city’s 2017-2018 designation as a “Judicial Hellhole” by the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA). “I always say the fastest growing part of the economy in Philadelphia is litigation tourism.” That is exactly what landed the “City of Unbrotherly Torts” back on the ATRA list of shame after out-of-state mass tort filings surged, along with multi-million dollar verdicts.

Another Partner in the Mission to Expose Lawsuit Abuse

PCCJR isn’t standing alone in calling out frivolous lawsuits and activist trial lawyers. The National Manufacturers Association and its Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action (MCLA) has launched a new campaign to set the record straight and highlight the concerted, coordinated efforts made by trial lawyers, public officials, deep-pocketed foundations, and other activists who have sought to undermine and weaken manufacturing.

The Manufacturers’ Accountability Project (MAP) includes a new website—MFGAccountabilityProject.org—to provide in-depth commentary, social media resources and facts about this network’s attack on manufacturing in the United States. We encourage you to check it out, and you’ll quickly see how coordinated special interests are using the legal system to target manufacturing, especially energy manufacturing.

Coming Soon: A blog post featuring a conversation between PCCJR and the Pennsylvania Manufacturing Association’s President and CEO David Taylor on this new project.

If Lawyer Ads Told the Truth…

The Golden Goose may be laying its last egg according to this UTube video spoof brought to you by “Shakem, Down & Bolt.” Every once in a while a parody comes along that makes the point in a way that the general public can relate. Our thanks to SleazySix.com for their creative take on how trial lawyers take advantage of asbestos victims and the court system for their benefit! Keep your eyes peeled at the end to see mention of one of Philly’s most notorious asbestos law firms!

In the News

Featuring PCCJR Member Pennsylvania Manufacturer Association| Viewpoint: Lawsuit Abuse Threatens Manufacturing| Pittsburgh Business Journal

PCCJR Quoted!| Philadelphia Mass Tort Inventory Could Soon Be In Decline| The Legal Intelligencer

Beating back the ridiculous| Starbucks Wins Dismissal in U.S. of Underfilled Latte Lawsuit| Reuters

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