Cutler Votes to End Lawsuit Abuse and Attract Employers to Commonwealth

HARRISBURG – Rep. Bryan Cutler (R-Peach Bottom) today cast his vote in favor of House Bill 1, known as the Fair Share Act, which would help bring about lawsuit abuse reform by abolishing the doctrine of joint and several liability, in most instances, and holding defendants in a lawsuit liable only for their fair share.


“I am in favor of victims being justly compensated for an injury, but the system is skewed to go after the defendant with the deepest pockets, even if he or she played only a minor role in the cause of the injury,” said Cutler.  “Pennsylvania is lagging behind other states when it comes to economic development and job growth.  Once we address those aspects of our civil justice system that deter employers from opening shop in our Commonwealth, we might be able to attract and retain those businesses that will keep our economy strong.”


Under Pennsylvania law, a defendant who is only marginally responsible for a plaintiff’s injuries can be held liable for 100 percent of the damages if the other defendants are unable to pay.


Cutler, who co-sponsored the legislation along with more than 60 other members of the House of Representatives, noted that the proposal has passed the General Assembly twice.  It was first enacted in 2002, but the Supreme Court overturned the law on technical grounds.  In 2006, it made it to the desk of former Gov. Ed Rendell only to be vetoed.


“Crafting policies that will help businesses create good jobs is a top priority this session,” said Cutler.  “It is great news that our Commonwealth’s unemployment rate has fallen over the past few months, but that does not negate the responsibility of state government to pass legislation that will help foster a more stable job market in Pennsylvania.  That is exactly the aim of House Bill 1 and why I am supporting it.”  


House Bill 1 passed in the House and now goes to the Senate for its consideration.  Gov. Tom Corbett has indicated his support for the legislation.


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State Representative Bryan Cutler

100th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact: Nicole Wamsley



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