After a compromise no one saw coming, the Iowa House approved a bill that would create liability protection for truckers.

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Back in January, lawmakers proposed House Study Bill 114 which would put a $1 million cap on noneconomic damages against trucking companies in civil cases dealing with personal injury or death.

Read more about the original bill here. 

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However, the bill that was just passed by the House looks a little different.

The changes to the bill come from discussions between trucking companies, victims, and legal advocates. In the House version, the bill sets a five-million-dollar cap on “pain and suffering” lawsuits that are filed over wrecks involving commercial vehicles.

This would limit raising insurance rates for trucking companies, says Representative Bill Gustoff, a Republican from Des Moines in a Radio Iowa report.

“These costs get passed along and so it’s hard. It costs trucking companies. It costs farmers. It costs employees. It costs consumers,” Gustoff says, “because everything we eat, wear, use — if you have it, it came on a truck.”

Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash
Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash
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The House passed the bill with a vote of 58-42 vote. All of those yes votes came from Republicans. Opposition came from Democrats and a few Republicans.

The Senate passed Senate File 228 back in February which put a $2 million cap on “noneconomic damages” in these lawsuits. Governor Kim Reynolds has even proposed a $1 million limit on these “nuclear” verdicts.

The bill now moved back to the Senate to be voted on, however, it is unclear if they will pass the $5 million limit.

 

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