Senator Cornyn

Cornyn Discusses Need to Protect Workers, Small Businesses from ‘Litigation Epidemic’

May 11, 2020

WASHINGTON – Today on the floor, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) discussed the potential onslaught of frivolous litigation against health care workers or small businesses in the wake of the coronavirus and his work on a proposal to address it. Excerpts of Sen. Cornyn’s floor remarks are below, and video can be found here.

“Now with the states beginning to gradually reopen their economies, we’re staring down the barrel of a second epidemic: one generated by opportunistic lawsuits, crushing legal fees, and drawn out court battles.”

“The litigation epidemic is shaping up to be a big one.”

“Imagine you’re a nurse who’s being sued by the family of a patient who tragically passed away at your hospital. Even though you acted in good faith and you took every precaution to save the life of the patient, you could get pulled into a nightmarish legal fight.”

“We simply cannot allow a flood of frivolous lawsuits to harm our incredible health care workers or stunt our economic recovery. As we speak, Madam President, I’m working with colleagues on legislation to address the anticipated lawsuit bonanza.”

“Let me be clear. Not all lawsuits are created equal. Without a doubt, there will be legitimate claims as a result of reckless wrongdoing in the wake of this pandemic. And those are the types of cases we want to make sure are heard.”

“There’s no desire to impede the effort to hold bad actors accountable, period. That’s my guiding principle.”

“This would not interfere with liability for intentional or grossly negligent conduct. We want to prevent baseless claims from tying up our courts, destroying jobs, and holding our economy hostage.”

“Defending lawsuits, no matter how far-fetched, is expensive and litigation costs alone can make the difference between the destruction and the survival of a business.”

“My colleagues and I have been in discussion about the best way to do this, and we’re actively developing a proposal that I hope will gain bipartisan support.”