Bill Allowing Potential Decrease In Insurance Rates Dies In Senate Committee
A bill allowing judges to inform juries about whether or not a victim in a car crash was wearing a seat belt died in a Senate Committee. The bill was promoted as potentially leading to smaller settlements in some cases, which would drive insurance rates down. Slidell Senator Sharon Hewitt, the bill’s sponsor, says we should trust judges to make the right call.
Hewitt says, "The judge should have the ability to use the information and use his judgement as to when that information will be relevant to a jury."
But the bill received opposition from Bossier City Senator Ryan Gatti, who says the bill punishes victims with lower settlements in crashes that weren’t their fault.
Gatti says, "I don't see any situation where the victim deserves to be punished for doing just an everyday thing."
Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon could not guarantee that insurance rates would go down as a result of the bill, and Gatti says it’s emblematic of problems with the bill as a whole.
Donelon says, "There's no guarantee that I can take back the District 36 and tell everyone that their rates are going to be reduced."