Claremore Daily Progress

Top Stories

January 2, 2014

Devastating tornadoes named Oklahoma’s top story

(Continued)

OKLAHOMA CITY —

A federal judge in July granted an injunction preventing enforcement of that part of the law on Hobby Lobby after the arts and crafts chain alleged in a lawsuit that the Christian family that owns the arts-and-crafts chain would be forced “to violate their deeply held religious beliefs under threat of heavy fines, penalties and lawsuits.” The Green family, Hobby Lobby’s owners, also owns the Mardel Christian bookstore chain.
—Tim Talley, AP
6. TORT REFORM
Oklahoma lawmakers continued their push for changes in the state’s tort system — including meeting in a special session to address concerns raised by the state Supreme Court.
The changes enacted by Oklahoma lawmakers as way to reduce medical costs and keep physicians in the state may not do that much to actually reduce costs, a study of a similar law shows. A study of Texas’ tort reforms of 2003, published in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies last year, said there was no evidence that changes bent the cost curve downward. The study also noted, though, that there was evidence of higher post-reform spending by Texas physicians who practice in high-risk areas.
The study comes as many business and industry groups call for more changes in the tort system. A memo from a senior vice president at the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce, sent to chamber officials in November, lists about a dozen recommendations that would fundamentally change the judicial and tort systems. Those changes include term limits for members of the state judiciary, a requirement that justices of the Oklahoma Supreme Court and the appellate courts be elected instead of appointed, and a plan to increase the required percentage of yes votes in judicial retention elections to 60 percent.
The proposals were expected to become part of the Chamber’s legislative agenda for 2014.

Text Only
Top Stories