Senator Gerry Cardinale (R-39) delivered the following remarks on April 12, 2018, regarding S-2144, the New Jersey Insurance Fair Conduct Act:
Senator Gerry Cardinale delivered remarks on April 12, 2018, regarding the New Jersey Insurance Fair Conduct Act. (SenateNJ.com)
“Extortion is illegal except if lawyers can arrange for it to be legislatively sanctioned.
“This bill will provide a mechanism for lawyers to extort insurers. Now that might not be much a bad thing, except that the cost will be passed right back to our constituents in the form of higher premiums.
“I have been in this legislature long enough to remember when auto insurance was a chronic crisis. We resolved that crisis, but this bill could bring it right back with lots of other similar woes.
“If the problem of insurance companies bad faith is so pervasive as to require legislation that can be readily resolved by beefing up insurance department oversight.
“That’s not what this bill does. There will be no downside to the plaintiff’s bar to add a routine additional claim to every lawsuit they file. If they prevail, they get a windfall. If they fail, there is no downside.
“But, insurers will predictably run for the hills and settle more cases. Even some that should be litigated, and who will pay. Our constituents will get the bill, but predatory lawyers will become enriched.
“That the undeniable intent of this bill. To enrich lawyers at the expense of 97% of the people on NJ who are not lawyers.”