ATRA Calls for Veto of S.B. 410 to Protect Michigan’s Economic Future

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This shift is not in the best interests of consumers, manufacturers, or the state as a whole


Today, the American Tort Reform Association urges Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to veto S.B. 410, a bill that is part of a broader liability-expanding agenda. ATRA expressed its opposition to the bill in early November, citing concerns that the legislation will create new avenues to sue job creators all over Michigan, burdening businesses and ultimately driving them out of the state.

“This shift is not in the best interests of consumers, manufacturers, or the state as a whole,” Tiger Joyce, ATRA president said. “Unfortunately, the only ones who stand to benefit from altering Michigan’s legal landscape are the same trial lawyers pushing these changes to expand their own opportunities at everyone else’s expense.”

Michigan is at a critical juncture and this bill would exacerbate the state’s existing economic struggles. Every Michigander already pays more than $900 every year in a “tort tax” due to excessive tort costs. If Gov. Whitmer signs this liability-expanding legislation, that number is likely to rise. The state also loses nearly 88,000 jobs annually due to those same excessive tort costs.

ATRA emphasizes the need for the governor and lawmakers to work together to find balanced, equitable solutions that promote fairness, accountability, and economic growth.

Background on S.B. 410: The bill, sponsored by Washtenaw County Democrat Jeff Irwin, seeks to repeal the existing liability protection established in the 1990s for drug and device manufacturers when their products have received approval from the FDA. This protection has been inaccurately portrayed as an “absolute defense” by the plaintiffs’ bar, while in reality, it supports the idea that the considered judgment of federal regulators, who are experts in their field, should bear significant weight in determining liability.

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