Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 2366 (eh) To provide small businesses certain protections from litigation excesses and to limit the product liability of nonmanufacturer product sellers. [Engrossed in House] ...

H.R. 2366 (eh) To provide small businesses certain protections from litigation excesses and to limit the product liability of nonmanufacturer product sellers. [Engrossed in House] ...


Google
 
Web GovRecords.org


                                                 Union Calendar No. 278

106th CONGRESS

  2d Session

                               H. R. 2366

                      [Report No. 106-494, Part I]

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL

    To provide small businesses certain protections from litigation 
excesses and to limit the product liability of nonmanufacturer product 
                                sellers.

_______________________________________________________________________

                           February 14, 2000

  Committee on Commerce discharged; committed to the Committee of the 
    Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to be printed





                                                 Union Calendar No. 278
106th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 2366

                      [Report No. 106-494, Part I]

    To provide small businesses certain protections from litigation 
excesses and to limit the product liability of nonmanufacturer product 
                                sellers.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             June 25, 1999

Mr. Rogan (for himself, Mr. Holden, Mr. Burr of North Carolina, and Mr. 
Moran of Virginia) introduced the following bill; which was referred to 
  the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on 
Commerce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in 
   each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the 
                jurisdiction of the committee concerned

                            February 7, 2000

Additional sponsors: Mr. Nussle, Mr. Baker, Mr. Cunningham, Mr. DeMint, 
Mr. Lewis of California, Mr. Weldon of Florida, Mr. Ryun of Kansas, Mr. 
Pitts, Mr. Talent, Mr. Hill of Montana, Ms. Pryce of Ohio, Mr. Hobson, 
Mr. Goode, Mr. McCollum, Mr. Cannon, Mr. Condit, Mr. Vitter, Mr. Smith 
of Texas, Mr. Combest, Mrs. Northup, Mr. Watkins, Mr. Stump, Mr. Davis 
                     of Virginia, and Mr. Whitfield

                            February 7, 2000

  Reported from the Committee on the Judiciary with an amendment and 
                         ordered to be printed
 [Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed 
                               in italic]

                            February 7, 2000

Referral to the Committee on Commerce extended for a period ending not 
                      later than February 14, 2000

                           February 14, 2000

 Additional sponsors: Mr. Chabot, Mr. Tancredo, Mr. Watts of Oklahoma, 
                     Mrs. Myrick, and Mr. Goodlatte

                           February 14, 2000

  Committee on Commerce discharged; committed to the Committee of the 
    Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to be printed
 [For text of introduced bill, see copy of bill as introduced on June 
                               25, 1999]

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
    To provide small businesses certain protections from litigation 
excesses and to limit the product liability of nonmanufacturer product 
                                sellers.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Small Business 
Liability Reform Act of 2000''.
    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

            TITLE I--SMALL BUSINESS LAWSUIT ABUSE PROTECTION

Sec. 101. Findings.
Sec. 102. Definitions.
Sec. 103. Limitation on punitive damages for small businesses.
Sec. 104. Limitation on joint and several liability for noneconomic 
                            loss for small businesses.
Sec. 105. Exceptions to limitations on liability.
Sec. 106. Preemption and election of State nonapplicability.

                TITLE II--PRODUCT SELLER FAIR TREATMENT

Sec. 201. Findings; purposes.
Sec. 202. Definitions.
Sec. 203. Applicability; preemption.
Sec. 204. Liability rules applicable to product sellers, renters, and 
                            lessors.
Sec. 205. Federal cause of action precluded.

                       TITLE III--EFFECTIVE DATE

Sec. 301. Effective date.

            TITLE I--SMALL BUSINESS LAWSUIT ABUSE PROTECTION

SEC. 101. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds that--
            (1) the defects in the United States civil justice system 
        have a direct and undesirable effect on interstate commerce by 
        decreasing the availability of goods and services in commerce;
            (2) there is a need to restore rationality, certainty, and 
        fairness to the legal system;
            (3) the spiralling costs of litigation and the magnitude 
        and unpredictability of punitive damage awards and noneconomic 
        damage awards have continued unabated for at least the past 30 
        years;
            (4) the Supreme Court of the United States has recognized 
        that a punitive damage award can be unconstitutional if the 
        award is grossly excessive in relation to the legitimate 
        interest of the government in the punishment and deterrence of 
        unlawful conduct;
            (5) just as punitive damage awards can be grossly 
        excessive, so can it be grossly excessive in some circumstances 
        for a party to be held responsible under the doctrine of joint 
        and several liability for damages that party did not cause;
            (6) as a result of joint and several liability, entities 
        including small businesses are often brought into litigation 
        despite the fact that their conduct may have little or nothing 
        to do with the accident or transaction giving rise to the 
        lawsuit, and may therefore face increased and unjust costs due 
        to the possibility or result of unfair and disproportionate 
        damage awards;
            (7) the costs imposed by the civil justice system on small 
        businesses are particularly acute, since small businesses often 
        lack the resources to bear those costs and to challenge 
        unwarranted lawsuits;
            (8) due to high liability costs and unwarranted litigation 
        costs, small businesses face higher costs in purchasing 
        insurance through interstate insurance markets to cover their 
        activities;
            (9) liability reform for small businesses will promote the 
        free flow of goods and services, lessen burdens on interstate 
        commerce, and decrease litigiousness; and
            (10) legislation to address these concerns is an 
        appropriate exercise of the powers of Congress under clauses 3, 
        9, and 18 of section 8 of article I of the Constitution of the 
        United States, and the 14th amendment to the Constitution of 
        the United States.

SEC. 102. DEFINITIONS.

    In this title:
            (1) Crime of violence.--The term ``crime of violence'' has 
        the same meaning as in section 16 of title 18, United States 
        Code.
            (2) Drug.--The term ``drug'' means any controlled substance 
        (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 
        U.S.C. 802)) that was not legally prescribed for use by the 
        defendant or that was taken by the defendant other than in 
accordance with the terms of a lawfully issued prescription.
            (3) Economic loss.--The term ``economic loss'' means any 
        pecuniary loss resulting from harm (including the loss of 
        earnings or other benefits related to employment, medical 
        expense loss, replacement services loss, loss due to death, 
        burial costs, and loss of business or employment opportunities) 
        to the extent recovery for such loss is allowed under 
        applicable State law.
            (4) Harm.--The term ``harm'' means any physical injury, 
        illness, disease, or death or damage to property.
            (5) Hate crime.--The term ``hate crime'' means a crime 
        described in section 1(b) of the Hate Crime Statistics Act (28 
        U.S.C. 534 note).
            (6) International terrorism.--The term ``international 
        terrorism'' has the same meaning as in section 2331 of title 
        18, United States Code.
            (7) Noneconomic loss.--The term ``noneconomic loss'' means 
        loss for physical or emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, 
        physical impairment, mental anguish, disfigurement, loss of 
        enjoyment of life, loss of society and companionship, loss of 
        consortium (other than loss of domestic service), injury to 
        reputation, or any other nonpecuniary loss of any kind or 
        nature.
            (8) Person.--The term ``person'' means any individual, 
        corporation, company, association, firm, partnership, society, 
        joint stock company, or any other entity (including any 
        governmental entity).
            (9) Small business.--
                    (A) In general.--The term ``small business'' means 
                any unincorporated business, or any partnership, 
                corporation, association, unit of local government, or 
                organization that has fewer than 25 full-time employees 
                as determined on the date the civil action involving 
                the small business is filed.
                    (B) Calculation of number of employees.--For 
                purposes of subparagraph (A), the number of employees 
                of a subsidiary of a wholly owned corporation includes 
                the employees of--
                            (i) a parent corporation; and
                            (ii) any other subsidiary corporation of 
                        that parent corporation.
            (10) State.--The term ``State'' means each of the several 
        States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto 
        Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern 
        Mariana Islands, any other territory or possession of the 
        United States, or any political subdivision of any such State, 
        commonwealth, territory, or possession.

SEC. 103. LIMITATION ON PUNITIVE DAMAGES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES.

    (a) General Rule.--Except as provided in section 105, in any civil 
action against a small business, punitive damages may, to the extent 
permitted by applicable State law, be awarded against the small 
business only if the claimant establishes by clear and convincing 
evidence that conduct carried out by that defendant through willful 
misconduct or with a conscious, flagrant indifference to the rights or 
safety of others was the proximate cause of the harm that is the 
subject of the action.
    (b) Limitation on Amount.--In any civil action against a small 
business, punitive damages shall not exceed the lesser of--
            (1) 3 times the total amount awarded to the claimant for 
        economic and noneconomic losses; or
            (2) $250,000.

SEC. 104. LIMITATION ON JOINT AND SEVERAL LIABILITY FOR NONECONOMIC 
              LOSS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES.

    (a) General Rule.--Except as provided in section 105, in any civil 
action against a small business, the liability of each defendant that 
is a small business, or the agent of a small business, for noneconomic 
loss shall be determined in accordance with subsection (b).
    (b) Amount of Liability.--
            (1) In general.--In any civil action described in 
        subsection (a)--
                    (A) each defendant described in that subsection 
                shall be liable only for the amount of noneconomic loss 
                allocated to that defendant in direct proportion to the 
                percentage of responsibility of that defendant 
                (determined in accordance with paragraph (2)) for the 
                harm to the claimant with respect to which that 
                defendant is liable; and
                    (B) the court shall render a separate judgment 
                against each defendant described in that subsection in 
                an amount determined under subparagraph (A).
            (2) Percentage of responsibility.--For purposes of 
        determining the amount of noneconomic loss allocated to a 
        defendant under this section, the trier of fact shall determine 
        the percentage of responsibility of each person responsible for 
        the harm to the claimant, regardless of whether or not the 
        person is a party to the action.

SEC. 105. EXCEPTIONS TO LIMITATIONS ON LIABILITY.

    The limitations on liability under sections 103 and 104 do not 
apply--
            (1) to any defendant whose misconduct--
                    (A) constitutes--
                            (i) a crime of violence;
                            (ii) an act of international terrorism; or
                            (iii) a hate crime;
                    (B) results in liability for damages relating to 
                the injury to, destruction of, loss of, or loss of use 
                of, natural resources described in--
                            (i) section 1002(b)(2)(A) of the Oil 
                        Pollution Act of 1990 (33 U.S.C. 
                        2702(b)(2)(A)); or
                            (ii) section 107(a)(4)(C) of the 
                        Comprehensive Environmental Response, 
                        Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42 

Pages: 1 2 3 Next >>

Other Popular 106th Congressional Bills Documents:

1 H.Con.Res. 45 (ath) Providing for the use of the catafalque situated in the crypt beneath [Agreed to House] ...
2 H.Res. 556 (rh) Waiving a requirement of clause 6(a) of rule XIII with respect to consideration of certain resolutions reported from the Committee on Rules. [Reported in House] ...
3 H.R. 2570 (rh) To require the Secretary of the Interior to undertake a study regarding methods to commemorate the national significance of the United States roadways that comprise the Lincoln Highway, and for other purposes. [Reported in House] %%Filename...
4 H.Con.Res. 23 (ih) Expressing the sense of Congress that during 1999 the Secretaries of the military departments should provide honor guard details for the funerals of veterans in the same manner as is required by law effective January 1, 2000. [Introduce...
5 H.R. 3440 (ih) To provide support for the Booker T. Washington Leadership Institute. [Introduced in House] ...
6 S. 1569 (es) To amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate segments of the Taunton River in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for study for potential addition to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, and for other purposes. [Engrossed in Sena...
7 H.R. 4991 (ih) To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to enter into contracts with [Introduced in House] ...
8 S.Con.Res. 86 (is) Requesting that the United States Postal Service issue a commemorative postage stamp honoring the 9th and 10th Horse Cavalry Units, collectively known as the Buffalo Soldiers. [Introduced in Senate] ...
9 H.R. 3671 (rh) To amend the Acts popularly known as the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife [Reported in House] ...
10 H.Res. 295 (rh) Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 1875) to amend title 28, United States Code, to allow the application of the principles of Federal diversity jurisdiction to interstate class actions. [Reported in House] ...
11 S. 3077 (is) To amend the Social Security Act to make corrections and refinements in the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP health insurance programs, as revised by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 and the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Balanced Budget Refinemen...
12 H.R. 4985 (ih) Making appropriations for the Treasury Department, the United States Postal Service, the Executive Office of the President, and certain Independent Agencies, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2001, and for other purposes. [Introduced...
13 H.R. 3489 (ih) To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to regulate interstate commerce in the use of mobile telephones and to strengthen and clarify prohibitions on electronic eavesdropping, and for other purposes. [Introduced in House] ...
14 H.R. 2054 (ih) To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to reduce for individuals the maximum rate of tax on unrecaptured section 1250 gain from 25 percent to 20 percent. [Introduced in House] ...
15 H.R. 1015 (ih) To amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to allow any consumer to receive a free credit report annually from any consumer reporting agency. [Introduced in House] ...
16 S. 897 (is) To provide matching grants for the construction, renovation and repair of school facilities in areas affected by Federal activities, and for other purposes. [Introduced in Senate] ...
17 H.R. 3459 (ih) To provide that a person who brings a product liability action in a [Introduced in House] ...
18 S. 2147 (is) To amend section 313 of the Tariff Act of 1930 to allow duty drawback for grape juice concentrates made from Concord or Niagara grapes. [Introduced in Senate] ...
19 H.R. 2981 (cph) To extend energy conservation programs under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act through March 31, 2000. [Considered and Passed House] ...
20 S. 416 (es) To direct the Secretary of Agriculture to convey to the city of Sisters, Oregon, a certain parcel of land for use in connection with a sewage treatment facility. [Engrossed in Senate] ...
21 S. 2954 (is) To establish the Dr. Nancy Foster Marine Biology Scholarship Program. [Introduced in Senate] ...
22 S. 2000 (es) For the relief of Guy Taylor. [Engrossed in Senate] ...
23 H.R. 4387 (eh) To provide that the School Governance Charter Amendment Act of 2000 shall take effect upon the date such Act is ratified by the voters of the District of Columbia. [Engrossed in House] ...
24 S. 3092 (is) To provide incentives for improved and efficient use of energy sources, and for other purposes. [Introduced in Senate] ...
25 H.Con.Res. 40 (ih) Honoring Morris King Udall, former United States Representative from Arizona, and extending the condolences of the Congress on his death. [Introduced in House] ...
26 S. 1865 (is) To provide grants to establish demonstration mental health courts. [Introduced in Senate] ...
27 S. 2731 (is) To amend title III of the Public Health Service Act to enhance the Nation's capacity to address public health threats and emergencies. [Introduced in Senate] ...
28 H.R. 3520 (rh) To designate segments and tributaries of White Clay Creek, Delaware and Pennsylvania, as a component of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. [Reported in House] ...
29 S. 810 (is) To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to expand alternatives for [Introduced in Senate] ...
30 H.R. 5109 (rh) To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the personnel system of the Veterans Health Administration, and for other purposes. [Reported in House] ...


Other Documents:

106th Congressional Bills Records and Documents

GovRecords.org presents information on various agencies of the United States Government. Even though all information is believed to be credible and accurate, no guarantees are made on the complete accuracy of our government records archive. Care should be taken to verify the information presented by responsible parties. Please see our reference page for congressional, presidential, and judicial branch contact information. GovRecords.org values visitor privacy. Please see the privacy page for more information.
House Rules:

104th House Rules
105th House Rules
106th House Rules

Congressional Bills:

104th Congressional Bills
105th Congressional Bills
106th Congressional Bills
107th Congressional Bills
108th Congressional Bills

Supreme Court Decisions

Supreme Court Decisions

Additional

1995 Privacy Act Documents
1997 Privacy Act Documents
1994 Unified Agenda
2004 Unified Agenda

Congressional Documents:

104th Congressional Documents
105th Congressional Documents
106th Congressional Documents
107th Congressional Documents
108th Congressional Documents

Congressional Directory:

105th Congressional Directory
106th Congressional Directory
107th Congressional Directory
108th Congressional Directory

Public Laws:

104th Congressional Public Laws
105th Congressional Public Laws
106th Congressional Public Laws
107th Congressional Public Laws
108th Congressional Public Laws

Presidential Records

1994 Presidential Documents
1995 Presidential Documents
1996 Presidential Documents
1997 Presidential Documents
1998 Presidential Documents
1999 Presidential Documents
2000 Presidential Documents
2001 Presidential Documents
2002 Presidential Documents
2003 Presidential Documents
2004 Presidential Documents

Home Executive Judicial Legislative Additional Reference About Privacy