Recently, James C. Haggerty, Esquire testified before the Pennsylvania Senate Banking and Insurance Committee in connection with House Bill 2246. That proposed Legislation allowed attorneys to argue specific monetary amounts in motor vehicle cases when requesting pain and suffering. The plaintiffs’ trial bar had appended an amendment permitting such arguments to a bill increasing the penalties in cases involving emergency first responders. The bill, with the amendment, had passed the House. At the time of the hearing, Mr. Haggerty argued that the proposed amendment was unconstitutional, anti-consumer and bad public policy. He further stated that the amendment to the bill would allow plaintiffs to improperly request specific dollar amounts for damages for pain and suffering and loss of life’s pleasures in motor vehicle accident cases. As Chairman of the Motor Vehicle Law Committee of the Pennsylvania Defense Institute, Mr. Haggerty argued that the rules regulating the conduct at trial are to be promulgated by the Supreme Court pursuant to its rule making power rather than on a piecemeal basis by the Legislature.
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