DES MOINES — The Iowa Business Council is asking the legislature to enact limits on what judges or juries can award when businesses are sued in civil court. Joe Murphy is executive director of the Iowa Business Council, which represents the state’s 20 largest employers.
“For the first time in our organization’s history, we are going to join the coalition to support tort reform efforts in our state,” Murphy says. “This is an economic issue. This is a workforce issues and we stand proud with a broad coalition that has worked on this issue for many, many years.”
The Iowa Business Council is calling for limits on non-economic damages in civil lawsuits against businesses. The group also supports caps on medical malpractice claims, something Iowa’s medical community has sought for years. Brett Altman, the CEO of Cass Health and its hospital in Atlantic, is a trustee of the Iowa Hospital Association.
“We know that we have work to with tort reform, to get non-economic damages capped,” Altman says, “so that like many other states, physicians will want to practice here and won’t be scared off by having eight and nine figure lawsuit settlements.”
A bill that would have limited non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits was introduced in the legislature this past spring, but failed to become law. The governor’s proposal for a one million dollar limit on non-economic damages in lawsuits against commercial trucking companies also stalled during the 2022 legislative session.