I've been looking over ALEC "model bills" since the Center for Media and Democracy released over 800 of these on the site ALECexposed.org.
If you don't know what ALEC is, it's the American Legislative Exchange Council.
"ALEC is not a lobby; it is not a front group. It is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, behind closed doors, corporations hand state legislators the changes to the law they desire that directly benefit their bottom line. Along with legislators, corporations have membership in ALEC. Corporations sit on all nine ALEC task forces and vote with legislators to approve “model” bills. They have their own corporate governing board which meets jointly with the legislative board. (ALEC says that corporations do not vote on the board.) Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. Participating legislators, overwhelmingly conservative Republicans, then bring those proposals home and introduce them in statehouses across the land as their own brilliant ideas and important public policy innovations—without disclosing that corporations crafted and voted on the bills."
Kirk Dillard is a republican Illinois senate member representing the 24th district. He is also a state chairman for ALEC.
He is the sponsor of SB1974, introduced on 3/18/11, which amends the Code of Civil Procedure. This bill's purpose is to delete "language regarding joint and several liability in actions on account of bodily injury or death or physical damage to property, based on negligence, or product liability based on strict tort liability" As well as "adds language providing that: in actions for bodily injury or death or physical damage to property based on negligence or product liability based on strict tort liability in which recovery is predicated upon fault, each defendant found liable is liable for only that percentage of the plaintiff's damages that represents the contributory fault chargeable to that defendant." And the big doozy is "deleting and repealing certain provisions regarding contribution if the obligation of one or more of the joint tortfeasors is uncollectable and a plaintiff's right to recover the full amount of his judgment from any one or more defendants."
Ok so what does this bill have to do with ALEC? They had a model bill titled the "Joint and Several Liability Act." Let me quote you with a few lines from these bills.
ALEC's model bill:
"The liability for each defendant of damages shall be several only and shall not be joint"
Now Dillard's bill:
"No defendant shall be jointly and severally liable for plaintiff's damages."
ALEC's model bill:
"Each defendant shall be liable only for the amount of damages allocated to that defendant in direct proportion to that defendant's percentage of fault"
Now Dillard's bill:
"Each defendant found liable,
as determined by the trier of fact, is liable for only that percentage of the plaintiff's damages"
So what's the deal with this bill? It prevents patients who are injured or killed through medical malpractice from receiving full compensation for their injuries by abolishing joint and several liability rules that ensure full compensation among defendants that may share responsibility, such as surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies.
The parallel between these 2 bills is undeniable. This bill is affecting YOUR rights as an Illinois resident. Open your eyes to the back handed corporate infiltration of our politics not only in our state, but the entire country.
(Alec bill: http://alecexposed.org/w/images/a/af/5O3-Joint_and_Several_Liability_Act_Exposed.pdf)
(Dillard bill: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?GA=97&DocTypeID=SB&DocNum=1974&GAID=11&SessionID=84&LegID=58116#actions)