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NAMIC Urges Anti-tort Reform, Workers Compensation Vetoes in Colorado

INDIANAPOLIS (April 25, 2005)—The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) has asked Colorado's governor to veto two bills that would erode ongoing tort reform and undermine the state's worker's compensation procedures.

HB 1121 would allow substitute service of process upon the secretary of state in any civil action against a resident or non-resident for damages or injuries sustained as a result of the operation of a motor vehicle. Substitute service would be allowed after the plaintiff used reasonable diligence to locate the defendant and 120 days has elapsed.

“This standard would fundamentally change current law, which requires that a defendant be personally served with notice of the claim,” said NAMIC State Affairs Manager Christian J. Rataj. “NAMIC opposes the enactment of HB 1121 because it is arguably unconstitutional, is inconsistent with the tenets of tort reform, is problematic from a procedural law standpoint, and unnecessary because the issue is currently being addressed by the Supreme Court’s Rules Committee.”

“SB 134 would prevent workers’ compensation carriers from offering expert witness testimony at an administrative law hearing to refute the medical claims made by a claimant,” said Rataj. “The bill would be harmful to the State’s Workers’ Compensation System because it would fundamentally change several procedural rules associated with the administrative law hearings.”

NAMIC contends that the bill would unnecessarily increase coverage costs, is inconsistent with basic tenets of procedural and substantive due process, and would adversely impact employers and meritorious claimants.

NAMIC’s veto request letter on HB 1121 can be read at NAMIC Online.

NAMIC’s veto request letter on SB 134 can be read at NAMIC Online.

Posted: Monday, April 25, 2005 12:00:00 AM. Modified: Monday, April 25, 2005 4:03:33 PM.

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