MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Business Council of Alabama today presented Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, with the “first” Business Champion Award. BCA President and CEO William J. Canary presented the award at the Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce’s “Community Luncheon” held today at the Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena along with Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama President and CEO Jeremy Arthur and Lisa McMahon, 2015 chair of the Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce.
Ward was the sponsor of legislation that overturns the Alabama Supreme Court’s adoption of a novel legal theory that could have hurt Alabama’s businesses and the state’s business climate. This legislation was a priority of the BCA for the 2015 session.
“Sen. Ward led the charge in the Alabama Legislature to right this wrong,” said Canary. “He understood the negative ramifications this Supreme Court ruling would have had on Alabama’s business climate, and his unwavering leadership helped garner wide bipartisan support in the Legislature.”
The legislation became necessary after the Alabama Supreme Court set the legal community on notice in 2013 in the Weeks v. Wyeth case and then again on rehearing the same case in 2014. The court held that a brand-name drug manufacturer can be liable—on a “fraud” theory—for physical injuries caused by a generic drug product that it neither made nor sold.
The BCA filed an amicus brief in the Weeks case along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, urging the Supreme Court to reverse itself and warning that adoption of the aberrant “innovator-liability” theory would once again make Alabama a magnet for frivolous lawsuits. After the Supreme Court refused to right its own wrong in the 2014 rehearing, Senator Ward sponsored legislation to restore common sense to the law.
The Business Council of Alabama is Alabama’s foremost voice for business. The BCA 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.