A bill's been introduced that would protect businesses from litigation ...

A new bill has been introduced that would protect small businesses from excessive litigation.

The Small Business Liability Reform Act of 2001, sponsored by a bi-partisan assembly of U.S. Senators, would cap punitive damages against small businesses with fewer than 25 employees at the lesser of $250,000 or three times compensatory damages. The legislation would also abolish joint liability for non-economic damages, ensuring that small businesses are only liable for damages in proportion to their fault. The bill also would protect product renters from liability based only on product ownership.

"This bill will help protect small business from the excessive litigation that hinders the entrepreneurial spirit that has always energized the U.S. economy," said Associated Builders and Contractors President Henry Kelly.