I am fascinated by the idea of something called “tort reform.” A lot of politicians and political commentators tell us that we need this “tort reform” in order to preserve our freedom. Here is what we normally hear: “Plaintiff’s personal injury lawyers file too many frivolous lawsuits against businesses, and this lawsuit abuse costs businesses a fortune which is then passed on to all of us, so we need “tort reform” to protect us all.” About half the time, these comments refer to lawsuits against doctors and other members of the medical profession. You’ve heard it: “Our healthcare is outrageously expensive because these stupid lawyers keep filing frivolous lawsuits against doctors, so we need “tort reform” to protect our doctors, and to keep our healthcare costs down!” But like so many topics that are discussed in political forums, while the words sound reasonable, when you look just beneath the surface, you realize that the words are hollow and empty and are meant to persuade people of something that is false. So I would like to discuss the facts behind the political concept of “tort reform”, and I genuinely believe that I will convince you that what these folks are calling “tort reform” is unnecessary, deceptive, and like so many other political ideas, the concept of “tort reform” is designed to protect the most powerful among us at the expense of all of the rest of us.
Author: Robert Lamb