What’s New In Tort “Reform”? Nothing,Unfortunately.
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Here is an update on Texas tort “reform,” which has gone too far, according to a local reporter. The state’s appellate courts are overturning verdicts for plaintiffs, and otherwise going out of their way to protect the pocketbooks of corporations dear to state commerce, like Walmart. And with the draconian caps that have been imposed, the most seriously injured citizens of the state cannot find a lawyer who can afford to take on their cases.
Patients’ rights receive more respect in Missouri, where arbitrary caps on damages to victims of medical malpractice were recently struck down by that state’s supreme court. A local plaintiff’s lawyer explains the impact of the decision here.
In fact, one of most peristent fibs the tort “reform” movement uses to create hysteria around an imagined “medical malpractice crisis” is that without “reform,” there will be “runaway verdicts” giving undeserving plaintiffs “jackpot justice.” Except things have not turned out that way. The reality is that payouts have gone down. That this is being reported by obgynnews is particularly meaningful. OB/GYNs have always been considered risky to insure by medical liability companies, because when they provide subpar care resulting in injuries to infants, those injuries are often not only devestating, but life long in duration.
Unfortunately for consumers, the true sources of increased health care costs are often the health insurance companies all of us depend on, who raise premiums based on nothing more than the rate by which they would like to profit. Bloomberg reports on how Assurant made a name for itself doing exactly that.