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Lawmakers look to cap non-economic damages in commercial vehicle crashes

Senate File 228 has passed the Iowa Senate and is now awaiting debate on the House floor.

Iowa lawmakers are considering a measure that would cap the amount of money Iowans receive in settlements against commercial trucking companies. 

Senate File 228 would set a limit of $2 million for non-economic damages. The measure has passed the Iowa Senate and awaits consideration by House lawmakers. 

"Out-of-state trial attorneys seeking to profit on the injuries of Iowans have come to our state and sought out-of-whack jury verdicts, nuclear verdicts" said Sen. Mike Bousselot, R-Ankeny. "This is affecting our entire state, our consumers, our taxpayers and our employers. Because the higher rates make it harder to hire truck drivers, it makes it harder to put trucks on the road."

Local 5 News spoke with Cody Bostick, a Texas man who lost his wife in a crash involving multiple semis back in December of 2012. Cody's wife Colby was pregnant with twin boys at the time of the crash, and their 13-month-old son Easton was in the car. 

"And the trucking company is never going to replace, sitting at the table with four or five, six kids laughing and having fun," said Bostick. "Now it's just Easton and I."

Bostick says the settlement he received following Colby's death took the stress off of him to navigate issues like Easton's college fund. He believes SF 228 would put more families at risk, allowing trucking companies and their drivers to evade responsibility.

"I do believe if you put caps on things, it's it makes people less accountable," said Bostick. "They know that threshold that they can push it and if  they make enough money, $2 million ain't nothing."

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