INDIANAPOLIS (May 23, 2007)—The Minnesota Association of Farm Mutual Insurance Companies (MAFMIC) and the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) stated today that “consumers win” with the legislative defeat of harmful Bad Faith “Double Lawsuit” proposals.
If passed, the “Double Lawsuit” proposals would have allowed trial attorneys to sue not only the party they think is responsible for an injury, but that party’s insurance company as well.
“Minnesota insurance consumers should breathe a sigh of relief,” said Wes Gainey, president of MAFMIC. “Passage of the ‘Double Lawsuit’ proposals would have authorized third-party bad faith and direct action claims against insurance companies.”
Despite passage of the House version, HF 2389, sponsored by Rep. Joe Atkins, Senate Commerce Committee Chair Tarryl Clark, the primary sponsor of SF 2173, failed to garner enough support in that chamber to justify a floor vote Sunday evening, solidifying the ultimate defeat of the proposals.
“The Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association was behind this very aggressive, self-serving effort to line their pockets,” stated Joe Thesing, NAMIC’s director of state affairs. “If passed, this legislation would result in increased frivolous lawsuits and fraudulent claims, resulting in higher costs for consumers.”
Efforts to defeat the Bad Faith proposals took a positive turn in early May when Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty threatened to veto the Omnibus Public Safety bill if it was presented to him with the Bad Faith language included.
“We thank Gov. Pawlenty and the legislators who stood up for insurance consumers and said no to trial attorneys,” Gainey said.
“Passage of these proposals would have had a severe impact on Minnesota’s litigation environment and would impact insurance markets and the state’s overall economic health,” Thesing said. “Hopefully, our efforts in Minnesota will provide hope to business interests in other states fighting similar trial attorney efforts.”
MAFMIC, the Insurance Federation of Minnesota, NAMIC and the NAMIC insurance company, NAMICO, joined a broad-based coalition of insurers, consumers, and civic and business groups formed to stop what they believe are harmful and short-sighted proposals. Minnesotans Against Fraud and Higher Insurance Costs, through its website at www.nohigherrates.com, conducted a comprehensive grassroots campaign to inform Minnesota citizens of the severe impact these “Double Lawsuit” proposals would have on Minnesota.
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Posted: Wednesday, May 23, 2007 12:00:00 AM. Modified: Wednesday, May 23, 2007 12:59:35 PM.
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