The Oklahoma Senate has endorsed another piece of the Republican leadership’s plan to overhaul the state’s civil-justice system.

The Senate on Monday voted 32-15, primarily along party lines, for a bill that would eliminate the concept of “joint and several liability” from the state’s civil-justice laws. The proposal written by Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore, would prevent defendants in civil cases from having to pay judgments that exceed what they were actually responsible for.

But Sen. Richard Lerblance, D-Hartshorne, said the measure will primarily benefit insurance companies and keep injured parties from recovering all of the damages to which they’re entitled, especially if someone responsible for the injuries is uninsured or underinsured.

The Senate last week approved a bill by Sykes that would cap damages for pain and suffering at $250,000.

— AP

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