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Senator Cam Ward Receives Business Champion Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Feb. 21, 2017

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Shelby County Sen. Cam Ward received the Business Champion Award today for sponsorship of legislation to regulate lawsuit lenders and bring stability and fairness to the tort process.

The award was presented by Business Council of Alabama President and CEO William J. Canary, Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama President and CEO Jeremy Arthur, and Greater Shelby Council Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Kirk Mancer.

Sen. Ward, R-Alabaster, in the 2016 legislative session, sponsored Senate Bill 67 that sought to regulate lending by companies seeking a share of any return from a plaintiff’s lawsuit after providing up-front cash.

“Senator Ward in sponsoring the Alabama Lawsuit Lending Act is to be recognized and commended for his steadfast commitment to legal fairness and for his opposition to lawsuit interference by third parties with a financial interest in them,” Business Council of Alabama President and CEO William J. Canary said.

“Aggressive lawsuit lending poses challenges to Alabama’s legal system by charging exorbitant interest rates on loans that can affect how plaintiffs negotiate the process,” Mancer said. “Suppose the loan is so great that plaintiffs refuse a reasonable offer from the defendant in hopes of a bigger jackpot that may or may not occur?”

“Lawsuit loans are not within our state regulations but should be just as any other lender,” said Arthur.

Lawsuit lending reform is on the BCA’s 2017 legislative agenda. Bipartisan majorities have passed a form of this legislation in the last two years but unfortunately a few senators have used procedural rules to stop reform efforts.

Alabama has made tremendous progress in improving its lawsuit climate and providing a welcoming environment for employers and can take another positive step forward in this session.

A former House member, Sen. Ward is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The Business Champion Award recognizes legislators for sponsorship and support of policies that better Alabama’s business climate and the lives of employees, families, and citizens.

The BCA, Alabama’s foremost voice for business, is a non-partisan statewide business association representing the interests and concerns of nearly 1 million working Alabamians through its member companies and its partnership with the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama. The BCA is Alabama’s exclusive affiliate to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers.

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