In a Huffington Post article Larry Bodine, editor in chief of Lawyers.com, criticizes tort reform as a lie:

Tort reform is a lie. It doesn’t benefit the general public and results mainly in stripping Americans of their rights. The laws are pushed by well-funded, anti-consumer groups with friendly-sounding names like “ALEC” and the “U.S. Chamber of Commerce.” Their goal is to boost insurance company profits, insulate incompetent doctors from liability and promote propaganda about a non-existent “lawsuit explosion.” The result is that badly injured consumers pick up the high cost of medical mistakes in the name of cheaper malpractice insurance for doctors — who make the mistakes.

What about those savings for doctors:

Ironically, a study from Americans for Insurance Reform in 2009 found that under Missouri’s damages cap, medical malpractice rates actually went up 1 percent, while in neighboring Iowa, which has no damage cap, malpractice premiums dropped 6 percent.

Bodine’s article discusses a Missouri case in which the Missouri Supreme Court declared damages caps unconstitutional. The entire article is worth reading.

  • Anderson

    “Tort reform” is too vague to discuss.
    I think nonecon damages caps are not a bad idea, given how subjective the awards are. I would like to see an experiment where the same case, same lawyers, was “tried” to 10 different juries, and see the variance in the damages awards.
    Where I have reservations is (1) the size of the cap and (2) weird distinctions like the $500K med-mal cap and the $1M general cap.

  • Tim

    Anderson, I don’t understanding anyone supporting caps, tell a young 20 year old quadriplegic he/she can receive a maximum of $1,000,000.00 for pain/suffering for the rest of his life from an 18 Wheeler speeding down the roadway with bad brakes, an out of time driver, etc. etc. and watch the disbelief and tears in his/her eyes. That’s blatantly unfair and arbitrary. He/she lives 40 years in a wheel chair with constant pain and other problems that equals out to about $25,000.00 a year…that’s fair???? come on!!!

  • Anderson

    Exactly that kind of worst-case scenario demonstrates the problem: NO amount of money is going to make up for this guy’s pain and suffering. You could give him $100M dollars for that alone and it wouldn’t “make him whole.” Money can’t buy everything.
    How much would 10 different juries award this guy?
    Your argument could have other applications. Suppose your victim was paralyzed after being shot, and we’re discussing how long to lock up the perp. How long is long enough? Can any sentence really punish him sufficiently?