The truth about tort reform
Tort “reform” is a dupe-the-masses movement designed to limit all individuals’ access to the country’s civil courts by restricting their constitutional right to a trial by jury. This push (engineered by the insurance industry and big business) is intended to affect everyone – including you and your family. These private interests advance the false notion “enormous” costs, allegedly shouldered by society-at-large, exist due to the litigious nature of unscrupulous claimants and greedy trial lawyers.
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Various chambers of commerce, collectively comprising one of the world’s largest business federations, are a driving force behind the push to curb citizens’ rights. In support of universal tort reform, these and other organizations pump out misinformation to the public suggesting the economy suffers horribly (and therefore, everyone suffers financially) due to “frivolous” lawsuits.
In many states, legislatures have responded to the special interest groups’ propaganda by erecting serious procedural barriers inhibiting individuals’ abilities to seek and secure complete justice. Elected officials have gladly taken action to satisfy the public’s ill-founded sentiments in order to gain political popularity. In doing so, these politicians have disregarded the fact that the information supporting the “public opinion” has been created by private interests bent on eviscerating everyone’s constitutional rights for their singular financial gain. Likewise, the legislators have ignored empirical data that reform does not work to bring about the results it is allegedly designed to produce. State insurance commissioners, independent insurance-based studies and certain medical groups, to name a few, have confirmed as much.
In actuality, tort reform has generated horror story after horror story for folks who have been victimized first by a bad-actor’s negligence and then second by the justice system (remaining after tort reform) that ineffectively addresses the results of the negligent actor’s conduct. Ironically, the civil justice system left standing in many states after the introduction of tort reform has left many of its alleged intended beneficiaries befuddled and victimized themselves. In fact, the tort reform movement, while seemingly noble wrapped in its rhetoric and skewed data, is riddled with hypocrites who, upon being wronged themselves, rush to the courts for complete justice. (See, Not In My Backyard I and Not In My Backyard II).
Remarkably, the smear campaign perpetrated against trial lawyers (which the general public all-to-often joins) unwittingly aids the private interests intent on destroying citizens’ constitutionally granted jury trial rights. Consider this. Trial lawyers are the tort reform opponents by default because no one knows when, how and by whom they will be negligently injured or killed. For that reason, the general public is not in a position to organize and collectively mount a defense to the tort reform movement. Everyone has a stake in the game – they just do not realize it. Only after a person is victimized by a negligent party and then further violated by a rigged civil justice system, does he or she discover the fallacy of the battle cry for “tort reform”. Regrettably at that point it is too late for the victim to proactively and effectively rebut the tort reform myth. The victim then just becomes a statistic and another “for instance” case.
Plaintiffs’ lawyers are in the fray everyday championing injured peoples’ rights under the increasingly difficult rules imposed by successful tort reform measures. Because of that, plaintiffs’ counselors are the most concentrated faction in-the-know about the tort reform lie. That is why the tort reform interests seek to discredit trial lawyers by calling them “greedy” and contending everyone is hurt by “frivolous” lawsuits. In actuality, citizens’ only true, organized voice before and after an injury is the group of lawyers tort reformers encourage the public to revile.
Call The Dow Firm, P.C. at (912) 264-1919 for a free consultation or send us a request by filling out this one-minute form.
For more truth about tort reform, visit the following sites:
The Committee for Justice for All (CJA)
The American Association for Justice’s Patients’ Rights site
The Center for Justice and Democracy (CJ&D)
Public Citizen (especially the discussion of the U.S. Department of Justice’s study debunking common tort reform myths)
The AAJ’s recent report regarding the non-reduction of insurance premiums in tort reform jurisdictions