October 29, 2018 (NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Following reports that Bill Lee successfully lobbied to restrict the amount of money a plaintiff could seek for pain and suffering damages in personal injury cases, Tennessee Democratic Party Chair Mary Mancini released the following statement:
“On the campaign trail, Bill Lee has already shown a willingness to act out of self-interest. During his campaign, he’s refused to say that his company would completely halt all government contracts in order to avoid conflicts of interest; he has also shown a willingness to exploit our religious differences in an attempt to further divide us and bolster his campaign.
“Now we’ve learned that Bill Lee successfully lobbied to restrict the damages that can be awarded from personal injury cases — after his company was held responsible in a civil lawsuit. If that lawsuit had happened after Lee’s successful lobbying efforts, his company would have received what basically amounts to a slap on the wrist for the carbon monoxide poisoning in which one person died and another was left with brain damage.
“If Bill Lee is willing to act this way now, what would his administration look like? Would he be able to represent all Tennesseans with integrity — and without corruption — as governor? Our next governor should be committed to protecting and strengthening the rights and protections of regular Tennesseans, in order to retain and grow Tennessee’s workforce and hold businesses accountable. Lee’s actions raise serious questions about his commitment to making Tennessee a place where people want to live.”
- Tennessean (10/29/2018): Years before Bill Lee pushed for tort reform, Lee Co. was among those subject to record out-of-court settlement
- The Lee Company was one of eight co-defendants in a “pain and suffering” civil lawsuit stemming from a 1986 carbon monoxide poisoning at a Nashville Ramada Inn, in which one person died, another suffered brain damage, and four more were injured.
- The case set a record for out-of-court settlements in Tennessee at the time, with $2.8 million awarded in 1990.
- In 2011, Lee successfully lobbied for tort reform legislation that significantly limited the amount of money a plaintiff could seek for pain and suffering in personal injury cases. The limit is now just $750,000. Had this lawsuit occurred after the 2011 tort reforms for which Bill Lee lobbied, the plaintiffs would have received less than one-third of the Lee Company’s original 1990 settlement amount.
- Bill Lee asked a state trooper to obtain photos of Karl Dean ‘coming out of a mosque’, Tennessean (10/9/2018): Trooper pulled from governor candidate security team after divulging Dean info to Lee campaign
- Daily Memphian (10/29/2018): Lee’s a political ‘outsider,’ but his company does plenty of government work