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Why won't Democrats let tort reforms happen?

aquapub

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In recent years, Republicans have tried to:

-make it illegal for trial lawyers to contribute to the campaigns of judges.
-limit just the pain and suffering part of lawsuits to $250,000.
-allow judges to deem umistakably bogus lawsuits as "frivolous," and order the plaintiff to pay the defendant's legal expenses.
-allow judges to overturn absurdly inappropriate jury verdicts.
and so on.

With numerous states in an epidemic of medical and commercial frivolous lawsuits, Republicans have tried (several times now) to do several common sense measures like these, and every single time, Democrats refuse to consider any part of it. ANY PART!

Could this be because, like criminals, over 90% of trial lawyers vote for and/or contribute to Democrat campaigns?
 

26 X World Champs

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aquapub said:
With numerous states in an epidemic of medical and commercial frivolous lawsuits, Republicans have tried (several times now) to do several common sense measures like these, and every single time, Democrats refuse to consider any part of it. ANY PART!
Prove it! Prove that there's an "epidemic" of medical and commercial frivolous lawsuits." You bluster over and over again with unsubstantiated claims, so now it's time to backup your bluster with facts, and nothing but facts, please.
aquapub said:
Could this be because, like criminals, over 90% of trial lawyers vote for and/or contribute to Democrat campaigns?
What a great comment. Does it turn you on to write crap like this? Do you think anyone takes what you write seriously when you make groundless and pathetically ignorant statements?

Every one of the posts you've written has been hate-filled, 100%. You know, there are intelligent ways to make your points without being so nasty? Give it a shot? It might make you think before you type...
 

Pacridge

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aquapub said:
In recent years, Republicans have tried to:

-make it illegal for trial lawyers to contribute to the campaigns of judges.
-limit just the pain and suffering part of lawsuits to $250,000.
-allow judges to deem umistakably bogus lawsuits as "frivolous," and order the plaintiff to pay the defendant's legal expenses.
-allow judges to overturn absurdly inappropriate jury verdicts.
and so on.

With numerous states in an epidemic of medical and commercial frivolous lawsuits, Republicans have tried (several times now) to do several common sense measures like these, and every single time, Democrats refuse to consider any part of it. ANY PART!

Could this be because, like criminals, over 90% of trial lawyers vote for and/or contribute to Democrat campaigns?
Got any sources for any of this?
 

shuamort

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Here's a site about the $250K cap. Please let it be known that that's a state and not a federal initiative (in Texas).:

http://www.democrats.us/editorial/cobarruvias071004.shtml

In 2003 after the tort reform groups successfully installed a tort reform friendly legislature, Texas passed Proposition 12 which limits malpractice suits to $250,000, promising lower medical malpractice rates. Instead rates, believe it or not, increased again!
Tort reform does tend to be divided along party lines with an actual substantial percentage of democrats "defecting" to the side of tort reform:

 

Squawker

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Every one of the posts you've written has been hate-filled, 100%. You know, there are intelligent ways to make your points without being so nasty? Give it a shot? It might make you think before you type...
I think you better look in the mirror Champ. Aquapub has a valid point and it isn't hateful to ask about the motives of the Democrats in relation to a group that consistantly supports them with huge sums of money.
 

shuamort

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(Hey Squawker, do you know how to resize those pics?)

26 X World Champs said:
Prove it! Prove that there's an "epidemic" of medical and commercial frivolous lawsuits." You bluster over and over again with unsubstantiated claims, so now it's time to backup your bluster with facts, and nothing but facts, please.
I'll give you a real world example, Champs. I work for an insurance company. 8 years ago, the biggest money maker for the company was insuring doctors, hospitals, and clinics for med mal (medical malpractice lawsuits). 5 years ago we purchased a large insurance company that only did med mal insurance. 4.5 years ago we scrambled to get out of the med mal business. Why? It was no longer profitable. In fact, we were quickly sinking into the red because of it. It took a bit of time too, to get out of some of the states because of insurance regulations insisted by law that we still insure these doctors/hospitals/clinics no matter what. And those prices were decided by the state bureau of insurance. So we had to take a bath in those states by selling premiums that didn't make up for the losses we'd incur.

About 3.5 years ago we stopped writing policies for med mal altogether as we were out of all of the states. We are still paying out on claims. I work with deductibles and talk with these hospitals and doctors about insurance a lot. They speak of how hard it was to find another insurance company to take on med mal after we left the market. Doctors are leaving states like Mississippi in droves because they can no longer afford to keep up with paying insurance just in case something happens. And when things do happen, their deductible has put them out of business (deductibles I've seen have been between $100.00 and $1,000,000.00). Put on top of that, how litigious this country has become, how personal responsibility is quickly eschewed, and the fact that because of a state's tort laws doctors are leaving, we've got a big problem.

Tort reform is a sticky situation. I agree with the $250K cap. The cap itself only applies to non-economic damages. Seems fair to me because how can one really put an arbitrary price on things. Let's talk about the infamous McDonald's Coffee lawsuit. (I'm linking to that website as it does give the full facts) A woman is handing a cup of coffee that is hot and the lid comes off and scalds her with third degree burns on her groin, thighs and buttocks that required skin grafts and a seven-day hospital stay. She sues McDonald's because they had dismissed her original request for medical bills. She is originally award $2.7 MILLION dollars which is later reduced to $480K.

Now McDonald's was in the wrong there. They had previously had 700 incidents regarding this and had settled them. The problem is, what's an equitable settlement? Is it $2.7 million dollars? Is it $480K? Is it $100K? How does one put a price on a person? I've seen lawsuits come by where negligence by a doctor killed a person and the survivors have got much less than what she got. I've seen cases where a person had his leg amputated because of gangrene and they cut off the wrong one. He got less money than she did. I've also seen cases where a lot less has happened (a slip and fall in a parking lot) and they've gotten more money than she did and there was nothing wrong with the parking lot. There has to be a line drawn in the sand somewhere.

Now back to the non-economic damages part which is crucial. The $250K is for punitive damages and not medical bills. Medical bills which can really add up. Non-economic damages also do not include loss of wages.

Just because an incident like the coffee happens, doesn't mean the world should be that person's cash cow whose teat will be milked dry because you were "wronged" and not only want to be made whole again, but much better.
 

Squawker

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Pacridge

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shuamort said:
(Hey Squawker, do you know how to resize those pics?)


I'll give you a real world example, Champs. I work for an insurance company. 8 years ago, the biggest money maker for the company was insuring doctors, hospitals, and clinics for med mal (medical malpractice lawsuits). 5 years ago we purchased a large insurance company that only did med mal insurance. 4.5 years ago we scrambled to get out of the med mal business. Why? It was no longer profitable. In fact, we were quickly sinking into the red because of it. It took a bit of time too, to get out of some of the states because of insurance regulations insisted by law that we still insure these doctors/hospitals/clinics no matter what. And those prices were decided by the state bureau of insurance. So we had to take a bath in those states by selling premiums that didn't make up for the losses we'd incur.

About 3.5 years ago we stopped writing policies for med mal altogether as we were out of all of the states. We are still paying out on claims. I work with deductibles and talk with these hospitals and doctors about insurance a lot. They speak of how hard it was to find another insurance company to take on med mal after we left the market. Doctors are leaving states like Mississippi in droves because they can no longer afford to keep up with paying insurance just in case something happens. And when things do happen, their deductible has put them out of business (deductibles I've seen have been between $100.00 and $1,000,000.00). Put on top of that, how litigious this country has become, how personal responsibility is quickly eschewed, and the fact that because of a state's tort laws doctors are leaving, we've got a big problem.

Tort reform is a sticky situation. I agree with the $250K cap. The cap itself only applies to non-economic damages. Seems fair to me because how can one really put an arbitrary price on things. Let's talk about the infamous McDonald's Coffee lawsuit. (I'm linking to that website as it does give the full facts) A woman is handing a cup of coffee that is hot and the lid comes off and scalds her with third degree burns on her groin, thighs and buttocks that required skin grafts and a seven-day hospital stay. She sues McDonald's because they had dismissed her original request for medical bills. She is originally award $2.7 MILLION dollars which is later reduced to $480K.

Now McDonald's was in the wrong there. They had previously had 700 incidents regarding this and had settled them. The problem is, what's an equitable settlement? Is it $2.7 million dollars? Is it $480K? Is it $100K? How does one put a price on a person? I've seen lawsuits come by where negligence by a doctor killed a person and the survivors have got much less than what she got. I've seen cases where a person had his leg amputated because of gangrene and they cut off the wrong one. He got less money than she did. I've also seen cases where a lot less has happened (a slip and fall in a parking lot) and they've gotten more money than she did and there was nothing wrong with the parking lot. There has to be a line drawn in the sand somewhere.

Now back to the non-economic damages part which is crucial. The $250K is for punitive damages and not medical bills. Medical bills which can really add up. Non-economic damages also do not include loss of wages.

Just because an incident like the coffee happens, doesn't mean the world should be that person's cash cow whose teat will be milked dry because you were "wronged" and not only want to be made whole again, but much better.
Thanks for that link. I had several incorrect beliefs regarding this case I guess.



Your experiences with the insurance business are enlightening as well. Leads me to believe neither side has their facts 100% correct. Doesn’t it seem there might be some middle ground where the average person could maintain their ability to sue, IE have protection through the legal system, and have some safe guards put in place? It seems to me a lot of the “tort reform” being proposed removes way too much of the safe guards out there for the little guy. And the as the system stands now, as you point out, we’re losing ground to massive jury handouts for slips and falls in perfectly fine parking lots. I don’t want to pay some moron millions because he can’t navigate the local parking garage. But I do want people who have been completely screwed by some company due to that company’s wrong doing to get compensated. Plus if companies know there going to be no consequences for selling/making harmful products- I could see problems with that too. Somewhere there needs to be middle ground. And right now it appears to me that both sides are digging their heels in and demanding the entire pie be baked in their pan
 
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