Alliance Urges Ga. Governor to Sign Civil Justice Bill

May 16, 2003

A bill that passed both houses of the Georgia Legislature contains several positive civil justice reforms and should be signed into law by the governor, according to the Alliance of American Insurers.

According to the Alliance, HB 792 would revamp the state’s class action rules, curb venue shopping and require court approval of structured settlement assignments. It also would change the post-judgment interest rate from the current 12 percent to the prime rate plus three percent.

“HB 792 overhauls the state’s current class action rules to bring them more in line with federal law and the laws of the majority of states,” said Robert Herlong, vice president of the Alliance’s Southeast Region, explaining his association’s support for the measure.
If signed into law, the bill’s class action reform elements would:
· Establish stricter prerequisites for maintaining a class action,
· Not permit a class action to be dismissed or settled without court approval,
· Permit appeals of court orders granting or denying class certification, and
· Enact new provisions that allow a court to decline to exercise jurisdiction over any civil action of a nonresident accruing outside of Georgia if there is another forum in which the trial can be more appropriately held (prevents forum shopping).

The Alliance worked in support of HB 792, and expects Gov. Sonny Perdue (R) to sign the measure into law shortly.

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