In the midst of near-apocalyptic hysteria, what should Mississippi’s businesses fear most about Y2K?
As if the business community did not have enough to worry about — tough competition, tight labor market, burdensome taxes, and, oh yes, frivolous lawsuits — along comes the prospect of one more sorry ambulance for litigious-happy attorneys to chase. Hopefully, when the clocks imbedded in the computers running the world’s utility infrastructure, banking and finance networks, traffic signals, pacemakers and all other manner of digital devices roll over to 2000, nothing of great significance will result. No blackouts. No food shortages. No riots, pestilence or Mad Max.
But just in case all is not well and the Y2K genie is unleashed, businesses should be prepared. They should be protected, too.
Last week, an important piece of legislation — the Y2K Act — was passed by the U.S. Senate and is now in House-Senate conference to work out differences before the bill is sent to the White House. The bill was passed with bipartisan support, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Thomas J. Donohue called the passage in the Senate “a huge victory for business and the economy.”
According to a press release from Donohue’s office in Washington, the Y2K Act (S. 96) would: encourage potential defendants to fix Y2K problems quickly before a lawsuit is filed, while assuring those with actual damages that they can recover fully; allow many defendants to be liable only for their portion of the fault; and limit punitive damages for small businesses. The legislation would also cover state and local governments and non-profit organizations.
“The Y2K bill will allow businesses to put their money into fixing the problem rather than spend it paying lawyers to deal with frivolous litigation,” Donohue said.
Clearly, it is in the nation’s best economic interest to limit outrageous litigation in any situation, and adoption of the Y2K Act would be a significant tool in the fight against frivolous lawsuits.
“The President and Vice President have a clear choice: support the American economy, millions of small businesses and high-tech entrepreneurs, or support a group of trial lawyers looking to get rich off Y2K problems. It’s a very simple choice,” Donohue said.
BEFORE YOU GO…
… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.
If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.Click for more info