WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Restaurant Association (NRA) is supporting the Small Business Liability Reform Act of 2003, a bill presented to the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) and Ken Lucas (D-Ky.).
According to a news release, the bipartisan bill is aimed at preventing small businesses from being the target of frivolous lawsuits by capping punitive damages and limiting liability for non-economic damages.
"Restaurant operators are all too familiar with the realities of frivolous lawsuits and the fact that it could take just one to drive them out of business," Steven C. Anderson, president and chief executive officer of the NRA, said in the release. "We applaud Reps. Chabot and Lucas for recognizing the need for this legislation and hope the Senate will do the same."
The Small Business Liability Reform Act caps punitive damages at the lesser of three times the amount awarded to the claimant for economic and non-economic losses, or $250,000.
"Litigation, particularly improper litigation, imposes a significant burden on small businesses," Anderson said. "With an average profit margin of 4 percent, many restaurants may not survive a protracted and expensive lawsuit."