Does Anti-Lawsuit Movement Favor Industry And Distort Facts?
California lawyer Jonathan Stein’s blog has highlights from an article on tort reform from The NewStandard. Jonathan’s highlights:
- But a California state law imposing limits on medical malpractice suits, combined with harsh market realities, erected a barrier between the family and the courts.
- The experience of the Geyers, according to rights advocates, is just one case of a rash of legal misfortunes accumulating in the wake of California’s 30-year-old malpractice lawsuit reform law.
- Aligning with the tort reform movement, the backers of the Act say it prevents profit-minded lawyers and undeserving claimants from “gaming a broken system,” as Senator David Vitter (R-Louisiana) put it in a Senate floor speech last winter. (Go see my post from last week on why this is garbage. Doesn’t Sen. Vitter have anything better to worry about, like maybe why the entire state of Louisiana’s government and the Federal government failed to help his consitutients? )
- In well-funded public relations campaigns, the insurance industry has heaped the blame for rising premiums on civil lawsuits, warning Americans that “tort excess” is wreaking havoc on the economy. A report issued in April by the Insurance Information Institute, an industry association, and the US Chamber of Commerce stated that the “litigation crisis” was translating into “higher prices, lower wages and fewer jobs” for taxpayers and workers.
- In Nevada, for instance, according to the consumer advocacy coalition Americans for Insurance Reform, shortly after the passage of laws limiting malpractice claims in 2002, insurers filed for rate hikes ranging from 17 to 93 percent.
- According to a US Department of Justice survey of state civil courts in the 75 largest counties, the number of tort cases filed between 1992 and 2001 declined by 32 percent.