Another report card for the 2017 session: This time, lawmakers get a 'B'


To the cheers of the business community and the jeers of the plaintiff’s bar, the Colorado Civil Justice League regularly champions public policies to rein in what it contends is excessive, costly litigation. Generally speaking, legislation at the Capitol that would make it easier to sue, or to reap larger damages awards, gets a thumbs-down from the advocacy group.

And by that measure, Colorado’s 2017 session didn’t do badly in the league’s eyes. Notably, it preserved the status quo on most of the issues the league tracks — and even moved the ball the right way in one policy area.

Which for the league translates to a B grade for the session, as noted in a blog post today on its website.

What did lawmakers do to rate above average even if, for the most part, they did nothing at all? Construction-litigation reform, of course:

Sponsored by Rep. Alec Garnett (D-Denver), Rep. Lori Saine (R-Firestone), Sen. Jack Tate (R-Centennial) and Sen. Lucia Guzman (D-Denver), HB 1279 was the product of many hours of work including a much larger coalition of lawmakers from both parties, as well as advocates representing homeowners and homebuilders.

RepWhile not as ambitious as we might have hoped, the bill nonetheless moves the ball forward by ensuring that homeowners are fully informed of costs and risks and given a formal voice in determining whether to initiate litigation to resolve alleged defective construction.

Anything that makes it more difficult for a cadre of plaintiffs attorneys to steamroll HOA members down the path toward litigation is an improvement over the status quo, which has construction of multi-family owner-occupied projects crawling at a snail’s pace.

The league also lauds bipartisan votes that it says were “instrumental in advancing worthwhile bills or defeating others that invited further lawsuit abuse.”

Read more; here’s the link again.

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