The Pennsylvania Fair Share Act – Shamokin, PA
Philadelphia attorney Heather Steele addressed the Brush Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce on the subject of the Pennsylvania Fair Share Act during an August meeting. An article about her presentation appeared in the August 18 edition of The News-Item. The article noted that large businesses are better protected from paying huge sums in civil cases with the passage of the Fair Share Act earlier this summer. Heather said civil law as it applied to "joint and several liability" in the past allowed a plaintiff in a negligence case involving death or injury to collect full penalty from one defendant even if that defendant wasn't deemed to be fully responsible. This often impacted larger corporations, insurance companies or hospitals, many of which fought to have this changed under the Fair Share Act, signed by Gov. Tom Corbett in late June. Joint and several liability was often abused because plaintiffs would add a wealthy corporation to a lawsuit because of its "deep pockets" and ability to pay the full penalty, even if the company's degree of fault was minimal. Heather advised the business people in attendance to be proactive in avoiding claims by having policies and procedures in place, training employees and knowing how to conduct interviews and investigations.