State senator introduces bill targeting frivolous lawsuits

Criminal Justice Center courthouse
File photo. (Credit: Rikard Larma / Metro).

State Sen. Larry Farnese (D–Phila.) announced on Thursday the introduction of legislation protecting Pennsylvanians against frivolous lawsuits, also known as Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation.

Farnese said in a release that SLAPPs are suits filed against a person or group in connection with positions they take regarding matters of public interest.

“Despite the legal theories supporting a lawsuit, the true purpose of a SLAPP is to deter critics by burdening them with the costs of a legal defense,” the release states.

Farnese’s bill would allow those who are wrongfully sued to more easily have the case dismissed or to recover attorney’s fees if they win.

“The legal system should protect free speech and not act as a hammer to silence people who speak their mind on important issues and neighborhood development,” Farnese said in a statement.

“The work that is done by our civic groups is essential to every neighborhood and the possibility that we might start losing these important forums is bad for everyone.”

Farnese said he introduce the legislation in part due to the recent announcement of the Old City Civic Association’s closure.

The neighborhood group will disband after 40 years of weighing in on zoning codes and liquor licensing matters due to rising insurance costs associated with lawsuits.

Farnese said he “was especially troubled because Old City had a thorough process for vetting issues before they weighed in publicly, like many other groups in the district.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

News

Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

NBA

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams…

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams have the best shot at a championship. The Thunder, Clippers, Heat and Rockets lead the way.

NFL

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.