Will Schwarzenegger and GOP Hurt Californians With Tort Reform?

We’ve written about the misguided instrument known as tort reform that is intended to help protect society from runaway litigation costs, but really only helps irresponsible companies and people from having to pay for the full extent of the damage they cause for others.

California is no stranger to tort reform measures, such as MICRA, which has been a boon to insurance companies in reducing their risks while still permitting them to charge exorbitant rates to doctors to protect them from medical malpractice claims. Now, in an effort to solve the California budget shortfall, Governor Schwarzenegger and the Republicans in the legislature are trying to force tort reform measures into law.

The most destructive of these measures is the implementation of a damages cap on pain and suffering. Damage caps are arbitrary and, in my opinion, illegally remove authority from jurors to determine appropriate damages in a civil case. The arbitrariness of damage caps is made even worse when the cap is set at a ridiculously low level–$250,000 as proposed by the Governor.

The Governor’s attempt to balance the budget on the backs of the injured is misplaced and unfair.

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