Tags: Tort | Reform | Great | New | Year's | Resolution

Tort Reform a Great New Year's Resolution

Monday, 13 December 2004 12:00 AM

And many times, even if the plaintiff is in the right, the "boxcar damages" awarded by juries are completely out of proportion to the actual harm suffered.

Interesting fact: Almost half of the money won in malpractice lawsuits ends up in the pockets of the plaintiff's attorneys. Maybe that's why the American Trial Lawyers are so adamantly opposed to tort reform.

Often innocent businesses have to settle such lawsuits even when they are in the right. Unfortunately, this whole process costs us jobs. When a business is forced to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars defending against frivolous lawsuits, it has less money to expand its operations, invest in research or hire more employees.

This whole corrupt practice isn't about evil corporations and their hapless victims who need legal protection. It is nothing more than legalized larceny, and it needs to be stopped!

Nowhere is this truer than in the medical profession. The rapidly escalating cost of liability insurance has reached unaffordable levels for an increasing number of medical practices. Some doctors have to pay as much as 50 percent of their gross income for malpractice insurance. Yet in our litigious society they can't afford to be without it.

Many OB-GYNs today find themselves forced to cease delivering babies altogether. Personal story: My wife and I have a baby due in January. However, because of rising malpractice insurance our midwife can no longer deliver our baby.

Every day, the cost of health care in America increases because physicians feel compelled to practice "defensive medicine," often prescribing unnecessary but expensive tests, operations or medicines, rather than risk a lawsuit. North Carolina's Senator John Edwards campaigned for vice president on the theme that he came from a poor working family but pulled himself up by his own bootstraps to become a self-made millionaire. What hypocrisy.

We need to stop these frivolous lawsuits and put caps on disproportionate punitive damages. Or even better yet, move to the English model. There, if you sue somebody and lose, you pay the legal fees for the other side. This might be a simple solution to a complicated problem.

One thing for sure, tort reform would be a great gift for the American people!

Copyright (c) 2004 by Nathan Tabor

Contact him at Nathan@nathantabor.com.

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And many times, even if the plaintiff is in the right, the "boxcar damages" awarded by juries are completely out of proportion to the actual harm suffered. Interesting fact: Almost half of the money won in malpractice lawsuits ends up in the pockets of the plaintiff's...
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2004-00-13
Monday, 13 December 2004 12:00 AM
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