PCCJR Update — June 1, 2018

Budget Season Begins

Rounding the corner into June, the House and Senate will turn its attention next week to the state budget, which is required to be completed by June 30. While negotiations have extended well beyond the constitutional deadline in the past, all sides are reporting they are on-track for an on-time budget. The PCCJR will be on high alert for any efforts to insert a state False Claims Act into the revenue discussion as well as guarding against any trial bar efforts to move last minute legislation.

Frivolous Lawsuits Jeopardize Senior Care

Skilled nursing facilities, personal care homes and assisted living facilities are under attack from predatory, out-of-state lawyers. Lawsuit abuse reform must be enacted in the 2017-18 legislative session to combat these attorneys and keep Medicaid dollars where they belong: at residents’ bedsides in Pennsylvania.

In the next few weeks, we hope to see action on H.B. 1037, which would cap punitive damages for long-term care providers without limiting a person’s right to sue or be made whole. The bill simply extends the same protections that Pennsylvania physicians have had since 2002 – nothing more.

Frivolous lawsuits affect the quality of care, the cost of providing care and the morale of hardworking staff. These high legal costs inhibit job growth, increase health-care costs and limit access to medical care.

An issue brief on H.B. 1037 is posted on the PCCJR webpage, and we have joined with our member, the Pennsylvania Health Care Association, to urge people to contact their state Representatives and ask them to support H.B. 1037.\

Lawsuit Watch

This month’s edition of Lawsuit Watch included a recap of Governor Wolf’s veto of S.B. 936 and an interview with special guest Kevin Shivers, Executive State Director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, Pennsylvania Chapter.

Kevin and PCCJR Executive Director, Curt Schroder, discussed the cost of lawsuits on small business and the growing threat of overly zealous litigation, including Penn State’s recent decision to bring an end to The Outing Club, Nittany Grotto Caving Club and the Nittany Divers Scuba Club because they were deemed too risky for potential lawsuits.

You can hear the complete podcast by clicking here. 

Lawsuit Watch airs on the fourth Monday of each month on WFYL. The program broadcasts live on 1180 AM and on the web.

In the News

Two Trials; Same ResultsSheldon Silver guilty of using public office to make millions from asbestos lawsuits| Legal NewsOnline

Hold the CheeseMcDonald’s customers suing for $5M over unwanted Quarter Pounder cheese| Fox News

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