The myths of tort reform and cap on damages
If it turns out, the manufacturer of an airplane makes a huge mistake in assembling and designing a plane, ignores all the warnings that problems exist, and a plane crash occurs killing hundreds, do you think it is morally wrong for the families to seek accountability against the company in Court?
What if a drug company fails to follow state and federal rules on manufacturing. If their continued failure to follow the rules and law leads to contaminated product and people are severely injured, is it wrong for families to seek repayment of their medical bills and lost wages?
If you hire a lawyer to file your case, he misses the deadline and lies to you about it, is there any moral issue with suing the lawyer alleging his mistake caused you financial harm?
Many states have been pushing for something known as Tort Reform. The law makers will argue that it prevents frivolous lawsuits and protects companies and doctors from malicious plaintiffs that make their living off of filing lawsuits.
Tort Reform generally doesn’t affect your right to file any of the claims I mentioned above. It doesn’t usually thwart your right to seek repayment of bills, pain and suffering, lost wages or other damages against an engineer, drug manufacturer or lawyer. But for some reason, it typically does affect and limit your access to holding hospitals and their staff accountable.
Why are we as a society ok with holding some people accountable for their actions, but also ok with picking and choosing who should be held accountable? Or, are we ok saying you Victim A are entitled to recover, but you Victim B were hurt by a nurse or doctor, so you must be denied access and forbidden from seeking full and fair compensation?
I fully understand the need to prevent frivolous lawsuits.
When it comes to injury lawsuits very few in our state are frivolous. But I am not ok with drafting inconsistent laws. I am not ok saying to one family, you may seek fair compensation because you were injured by X company, but family #2 may not because their injury occurred in a hospital. Still negligence. Still caused serious and life altering injury, but we value your injury less.. no wait, we as a legislative body just value the company who hurt you more.
There is a cap in Virginia as to what you can receive from a health care provider’s negligence. There is no cap as to what you can recover in a car accident, manufacturing incident, or even in a lawsuit against a bad lawyer. Our laws are inconsistent. Should they be?