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Nearly everyone has heard the terrible news story about Chad Perry and the bar fight at the Dan O’Briens Restaurant and Pub in Oklahoma City. Mr. Peery (his attorneys) filed a civil lawsuit earlier this week against the idiots that beat him up, as well as the bar. For those interested, here’s a copy of the Petition. Bob Thomlinson at Thomlinson, Rust, McKinstry & Grable P.C. filed the suit. In addition to the battery claim against Rinken, Smith and Lopez, the suit alleges that the Dan O’Briens pub was negligent. I’m sure Mr. Thomlinson is well aware of the “tort reform” that went into effect on November 1. That’s likely why the lawsuit was filed on October 31, 2011. Filing the lawsuit after the 31st would have limited Mr. Peery’s right to a civil recovery (but helped the insurance company that insures Dan O’Briens). Some of the laws that went into effect this week that help insurance companies at the expense of people: House Bill 2128 This puts a $350,000 hard cap on non-economic damages in bodily injury cases. Note the bill has an exception where the judge and jury find that the tort-feasor’s action to be in reckless disregard of the rights of others, grossly negligent, fraudulent or intentional or with malice. This is obviously a higher standard than negligence, but as to the bar’s liability, it may not be met. The law doesn’t apply to wrongful death cases. Note that a jury is not told of this limitation. The court is to submit special interrogatories to the jury as to which of the damages are for economic...
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