August 17, 2005
How the tort "reformers" have succeeded
I started to blog something about these two LA Times stories on the tort "reform" movement, but never managed to put together something more substantial than a link and an exhortation to go read. Thankfully, there's people like Dwight to pick up the slack and add some value to the proposition. He's got the goods, so go check it out.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 17, 2005 to Legal matters
Kuff, the award limits set by the tort reforms are far above the average settlement and were designed ***specifically*** to limit the extreme cases.
The fact that those extreme cases existed at all is -- or was -- by definition the crisis the reforms sought to address.
In fact the figures cited in the article clearly show that the extreme cases these reforms were intended to correct were far out of line with the norm.
Everyone involved in the debate over tort reform knows that the vast majority of cases have always been settled fairly and reasonably, and the suggestion to the contrary made by the material in the LAT articles seem to be another example of the legal profession's distortion tactics: the setting up of straw men, this time uninformed Joe Blow in the street.
"Tort reform passed because Joe Blow doesn't know what he is talking about" is not an argument against tort reform, nor is it the reason the reforms have been adopted.
Lest we forget, though, capping settlements was not the only issue on the agenda ... the business lobby tried, and got away with in some cases, some sneaky stuff ... I am sure other commenters can fill us in on those little gems ...
The limits were designed to protect the large institutions like hospitals that don't mind spending the money on an aggressive defense. Gross negligence that involves the death of a child or any other non-employed person is now not possible to litigate against a well-financed institution.