HB 3160, which among other things would give small business owners a private right of action against insurance companies for violating the state Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Statute, is still alive as the legislative session draws nearer its close, and the insurance industry and those that might be held to account under the bill continue to invest heavily in lobbying efforts to make sure that it again does not make it to the floor.  Among the canards that the industry continues to throw out there is that this is ‘radical’ reform, but failing to note that most states have some version of this kind of private right of action, or some other bad faith right of action, under state law.  I recently worked on a survey of bad faith law in the Pacific Northwest as my firm continues to expand its practice base, and was dismayed to note that Oregon lags behind even conservative states like Montana and Idaho in giving small business owners the leverage that they need, through a potential bad faith claim, to get insurance companies to step up when the going gets rough.  My Father’s Day wish?  That the legislators currently on the fence, including Sen. Betsy Johnson, realize that this bill is not about enriching “tort lawyers” but is about bringing the insurance code into the modern era to protect ordinary Oregonians, including Oregon’s small business owners.

Dozens of lobbyists tie up bill to let consumers sue insurance companies | OregonLive.com:

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