State senators signed off today on a bill to punish someone who brings a lawsuit that gets dismissed as groundless. The proposal would force the loser to pay the other side’s attorney’s fees and court costs, up to $10 thousand.
Backers say the measure will cut down on pointless lawsuits. But opponents have complained it could scare people away from suing, even if they have a valid case.
A few Democrats also argued it could add more work for some judges. They might want to throw a case out, but end up taking it just to keep from punishing someone.
The measure passed the Senate 17 to 12, with two Republican members who are also lawyers joining Democrats in opposition. The measure now heads back to the state House to approve minor Senate changes.