Measure to cap litigation finance interest moves on after hot debate
|By Tom Humphrey, The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Tenn.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The litigation finance business, also known as "lawsuit lending," advances money to people who are seeking damages for injuries in court, typically for living expenses during a long wait for a case to come to trial or be otherwise resolved. They are repaid only if the lawsuit is successful.
The bill (SB1360), sponsored by House Speaker Pro Tempore
"What I care about most of all is that there is nothing in the law in our state right now that prevents poor people in my district, at their most vulnerable time, from being taken advantage of by these companies," said Johnson.
"Intent of this bill is not to help poor people. The intent is to hurt poor people," said Rep.
The bill aims to "put an industry out of business" because it gives people money to keep going while a lawsuit is pending. Without an advance of money, the "poor desperate people" will agree with an insurance company or business to settle the lawsuit for less money, he said.
"This will keep more money in the pockets of the insurance companies," Dennis said.
On the other hand, Rep.
The bill was debated for more than an hour last week in the House, then put off until Thursday, when another hour of debate ensued.
In the end, the bill passed 52-36. The
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