Senate Bill 415 is a proposed Georgia law that aims to make limitations in the state’s civil courts. Attorney Jonathan A. Pope criticized the bill and emphasized the negative impact the legislation would have on plaintiffs’ rights.
If passed, the law “would change the information that could be provided to jurors trying civil cases, make it more difficult to sue landowners for injuries caused by a third party and limit the amount of time someone has to bring a product liability lawsuit, among other provisions,” according to a report from the Associated Press.
Supporters of the bill claim that the legislation will reduce the number of lawsuits that enter the state’s courts and bring down associated costs. The bill was introduced by a state Senate subcommittee and is sponsored by state Sen. Steve Gooch of Dahlonega.
Attorney Pope described the effects the bill will have on specific types of litigation. He stated, “’Senate Bill 415, if it becomes law, is going to drastically change about 15 areas of law… Trucking, aviation, municipal law, tort law, jury trials, rules of evidence, product liability, premises liability, asbestos law.’” He summarized his perception of the bill by saying it is “’ not good for the state of Georgia.’” In addition to leading the Hasty Pope Davies, LLP, LLP legal practice, Attorney Pope opposed the bill as a representative of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, of which he is the executive vice president.
Attorney Pope shared his perspective on the legislation during a hearing with Sen. Gooch and the Senate subcommittee. The hearing was held to discuss the bill, but participants did not vote on the legislation. Sen. Gooch is planning on editing the bill before introducing it for a vote at a later date.
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