Sunday, December 10, 2006

Tort Reform

(Post and Courier) Hampton County has been a place where the big jury verdicts grow.

For years this rural farmscape of 21,000 people 75 miles west of Charleston was a favorite for lawyers who wanted to make corporations pay.

A combination of low-income jurors and South Carolina's old-time laws that favored plaintiffs seemed to encourage it, some said.

I was a fan of tort reform for 37 of my 39 years (well that is an exageration - I suppose in the early years I did not have a clue what tort reform meant, but you get the idea). Now I am reconsidering my position. I am not sold on opening the barn door to outrageous verdicts - but there is some beauty in sticking it to the faceless man.

Afterall, a small business man knows full well the danger of providing a dangerous or flawed service. He may be sued and everything he owns (up to and including his home) may be taken. Mega-corporations can afford to be a bit more careless, they can absorb a few bumps in the road (caused entirely by their own carelessness.)

I am still undecided on the absolute right answer, I only know that we have traveled a bit too far toward an economic sytem driven by corporatism.

1 comment:

  1. I'm a conservative trial lawyer against caps of any kind. Why should some have immunity and others not. Let the "market" decide. It's a very Old Testament idea, this responsibility for one's wrongs. Caps eliminate the serious injuries, promote incompetence among doctors and others and do not eliminate the small or frivolous suits.