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Election Prep: WA Referendum Measure 67

The text on the ballot:

The legislature passed Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5726 (ESSB 5726) concerning insurance fair conduct related to claims for coverage or benefits and voters have filed a sufficient referendum petition on this bill.

This bill would make it unlawful for insurers to unreasonably deny certain coverage claims, and permit treble damages plus attorney fees for that and other violations. Some health insurance carriers would be exempt.

Of course I also read the explanatory and pro/con statements and the full text.

On this one it seems the main effect is to allow for punitive damages and legal fees to be rewarded in cases where Insurance companies are being sued for denying claims. It would also somewhat expand the cases where such a suit was possible. The courts would of course retain the ability to decide on the merits of the cases and the exact penalties imposed, it just gives some wider latitude.

The counter case is that this will lead to lots of frivolous lawsuits etc and it is actually all just about giving trial lawyers more opportunity to make money.

I am OK with this balance. I’m going to vote “Approved” on this one.

2 comments to Election Prep: WA Referendum Measure 67

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