Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed AB 240, a bill that would have created a legal uncertainty for civil lawsuit defendants and liability insurance policyholders.
The legislation would have placed defendants in auto accident lawsuits in the position of not knowing until the end of the trial whether they would be liable for only their proportionate share of the fault for the accident or in a “joint and several liability” situation where they would be personally liable for 100 percent of the damages even if they were only 1 percent at fault.
Joint and several liability is a form of liability that is used in civil cases where two or more people are found liable for damages. The winning plaintiff in such a case may collect the entire judgment from any one of the parties or from any and all of the parties in various amounts until the judgment is paid in full. In other words, if any of the defendants do not have enough money or assets to pay an equal share of the award, the other defendants must make up the difference.
According to the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, the legislation would have also made it more difficult and expensive for insurers to engage in risk-based underwriting necessary to provide insurance consumers with fair and accurate rates. The proposed legislation would have also driven up insurance defense costs for insurers and defendants, which would have adversely impacted the affordability of insurance for individuals and businesses.
“This was a long and difficult fight,” said Christian J. Rataj, NAMIC’s state affairs manager for the West. “We commend the governor and those state legislators who opposed the bill and protected businesses and citizens of Nevada against this legislation.”
Public Affairs Director - State & Policy Affairs
Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 1:26:14 PM. Modified: Thursday, September 19, 2013 10:20:00 AM.
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