Monday, August 29, 2011

Tort Reform: Perry, The guy the sharks fear

Although a non-brainer for us common folks, legislatures, whose makeup tilt heavily toward the legal persuasion, are slow to act when it comes to tort reform. It will take a strong executive and the replacement of many lawyers in Congress, to enact meaningful legislation restricting the "ambulance chasers", what we use to call these lawyers that are so proud of themselves today.

Which is why, adds Politico, “among litigators, there is no presidential candidate who inspires the same level of hatred — and fear — as Perry.”

Since 2003, Texas has become a model for national tort reform. That year, the state enacted a $250,000 cap on medical liability for non-economic damages.

That reform in particular helped free Texas from excessive medical-malpractice insurance premiums that had driven many physicians out of state (a problem, by the way, now bedeviling New York and New Jersey).

Other reforms include expedited class certification; ensuring that defendants pay only their proportionate responsibility; liability limits for good Samaritans, volunteer firefighters, etc., and reformed product-liability laws, so that local retailers are not on the hook for manufacturers’ mistakes.

And he continues to push a loser-pays system to discourage frivolous lawsuits, barring judges from finding new causes of action from the bench and expediting trials for litigants with legitimate claims.

No wonder the tort bar is quaking. And what an encouraging sight to see so much agitation.
Of course, the litigators may end up regretting any effort to make this a major campaign issue. (Word to the wise: You’re nowhere near as popular as you think you are.)

Read full NY Post article here.

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