A tort is wrongful interference against a person or property, other than breaches of contract, for which the courts can rectify through legal action. The reform effort is aimed at reducing the number of unnecessary lawsuits that burden the court system while still allowing injured parties compensation when they’ve been wronged. This latest effort at tort reform has given rise to the same spirited rhetoric that might be found in a courtroom.
With the prominence of the tort reform debate on state legislative floors across the country, many states have introduced and even passed bills that address reform issues within their respective states. Many reform proponents feel that changes in the civil justice system should be left to the states. The alternative, congressional regulation, presents more old big government solutions and the problems that accompany it.
Thirty-nine states have already enacted statutory ceilings on pain and suffering awards, which may be recovered from public entities. Thirty-seven of these states cap economic damages in addition to the capping of pain and suffering damages. Two states limit pain and suffering damages regardless of whether the defendant is public or private. Two other states do not permit a pain and suffering recovery at all unless the claimant has suffered permanent loss of a bodily function, dismemberment or disfigurement; and satisfies a medical expense threshold. New York urgently needs to follow suit, because it is a sitting duck for frivolous tort litigation.
New York is in the grip of a litigation explosion that is clogging their courts and slowing their economy. According to the “Tort Reformer” over 84,000 new lawsuits are brought every year...that’s the equivalent of more than 300 suits being filed on every business day. When a deranged tort system destroys an industry – driving people out of jobs, panicking customers – and does so based on junk science admitted to the courtrooms by injudicious judges – there really is the possibility of making sure it doesn’t happen again.
When criminals fleeing the scene of a crime can win damages in court against the police for using force to stop them, something is wrong. When a drunk who falls in front of a subway can sue the transit authority and win in court, something is wrong – and every fair-minded person knows it. New Yor...
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Crotty, Paul A. Shutting Off the Money Faucet. Containing the tort explosion: The City’s Case. [Online]. Available. http://www.ci.nyc.ny.us/html/law/htnl/reform.html.
Halrern, Richard G. Tort Reform: Taxation Without Representation. [Online]. Available. http://www.halprengroup.com/tortrefa.htm.
Howry. Michelle. Tort Reform: Is The System Broken? [Online]. Available.
New Yorkers for Civil Justice Reform. The Problem: Civil In-justice. [Online]. Available. http://www.nychr.org/problem.html.
New Yorkers for Civil Justice Reform. Reform Priorities. [Online]. Available.
New Yorkers for Civil Justice Reform. Public Opinion: Zogby Poll Finds Support for Reform. [Online]. Available. http://www.nychr.org/opinion.html
New Yorkers for Civil Justice Reform. The Latest News About the Changing Landscape of
Civil Justice Reform. [Online]. Available. http://www.nychr.org/newscover.html
Schwan, J.D. Are Lawsuits Costing Us More Than We Think? [Online]. Available.
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