Joanna Shepherd on Commercial Auto Insurance in Georgia

Atlanta Journal-Constitution View Original Source

ICLE Nonresident Scholar Joanna Shepherd was quoted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in a story about recently passed Georgia legislation that would limit insurers’ liability for big-rig crashes. You can read the full piece here.

Georgia is one of four states that allow direct actions against the insurers of commercial vehicle operators, Emory University law professor Joanna Shepherd said. Evidence shows “insurance companies do charge higher prices when they expect to be involved in more litigation,” she said.

Potential downsides of the bill include that it might make it harder for some plaintiffs to get compensation and force some motor carriers to pay defense costs upfront, Shepherd said. She said she believes that “in the vast majority of cases, we won’t see a problem.”

…Shepherd and Eric Larson, a commercial litigation partner at Morris Manning, said lawmakers may soften the bill to get it approved in the next session.

“The way it’s written right now, it seems extremely difficult for a plaintiff to prevail,” Shepherd said. “I think it goes much too far.”