Despite the added expenses and inefficiencies, the right to sue is increasingly being added to bills targeting a variety of relatively narrow substantive issues. NJCJI has been sounding the alarm on this issue, and the legislature is beginning to take note.
A2955, which establishes certain requirements for hospitals regarding patient-designated caregivers, included this language in its first draft:
“Nothing in this act shall be construed to create a private right of action against a hospital or a hospital employee, or to otherwise supersede or replace existing rights or remedies under any other provision of law.”
Working with other business groups, and specifically Dave Brogan from NJBIA, NJCJI was able to get the following language inserted into A2910, which would prohibit employment discrimination based on an applicant’s employment status:
“Nothing set forth in this section shall be construed as creating, establishing or authorizing a private cause of action by an aggrieved person against an employer who has violated, or is alleged to have violated, the provisions of this section. Nor shall evidence that an employer has violated, or is alleged, or is believed to have violated the provisions of this section, be admissible in any legal proceeding with respect to any law or claim other than a proceeding to enforce the provisions of this section.”
The language in both of these bills goes a long way toward ensuring the protections provided to the public in both bills are preserved, but that the incentive to litigate in order to secure those protections is eliminated.
We hope other legislators will take note, and begin to include similar language in future bills. The judicial system is well suited for settling disputes between parties; it is not well suited to establishing and enforcing standards for businesses.