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Forum Post: Tort "Reform"

Posted 2 years ago on March 10, 2012, 7:56 p.m. EST by GypsyKing (8719)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Yet another anti-liberty idea created by the pro-oligarchy neo-cons is the idea of "tort reform," and they have made an effort to push this idea in many states. As the power of the people to control their lives is limited through the bribing of our political representitives and the packing of the courts with pro neo-con judges, "tort reform" represents an attack on yet another Constitutional protection from these preditory powers.

When people are deprived of life, liberty, or property by corporations and other special interests (granted unfair power by government collusion) the last resort for redress is civil court, and the right of judges and juries to grant unlimited levels of compensation to victims becomes the last remaining check on the overt tyranny of these special interets.

Therefore, I think Occupy should oppose "tort reform" everywhere it is on the ballet, and work to overturn it in those states that have so cynically adopted it.

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96 Comments


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[-] 4 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

Here's my take on "tort reform".

As long as profits are limitless, so then should be the jury awards in civil cases.

I also feel that no judge should be allowed to legislate from the bench and reduce a duly adjudicated jury award.

If the jury awards $350,000,000.00, a judge should be prevented from reducing it by a single dime.

[-] 3 points by GypsyKing (8719) 2 years ago

Agreed completely! That's's democracy. It's called rule of the people, not the limited and tamed fascade of the rule of the people!

What the hell gives these people the gall to think they have the right to abridge a jury award?!

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Before we accuse judges of legislating from the bench, we should understand the distinction between legislation and jurisprudence (and unfortunately, very few people do understand this distinction).

Moreover, due process does limit awards in tort cases.

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

Legislation is the written law, and jurisprudence the application set under court precedent?

Correct me if I'm wrong, that's just off the top of my head.

I still like the idea, that if there are no limits to profit, there should be no limits to court awards. Other than perhaps the defendants ability to pay.

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[-] -3 points by DKAtoday (22334) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Thanks shooz, I agree.

Make sure proper penalties HURT.

It may or may not drive an individual out of business. Don't care.

It sends a very loud message that you had best be considerate because not only are we going to hold you responsible we are going to hold you accountable and it will NOT be a slap on the wrist that you can then consider just a part of doing business.

You will be upholding the law and the welfare of all or you will be looking for another way to make a living.

Period.

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

I also feel that no EULA, contract, nor other agreement, including nondisclosure, should prevent anyone from seeking redress in a court of law.

This would include banning all arbitration panels from civil cases.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (22334) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

NON-disclosure for almost all intents and purposes is an abomination. It allows a business to save its reputation in the community, when the community should actually be alerted to the fact of abuse or wrong doing. You did wrong now make up for it if you can you have trust to earn. This is a hard and long process once you have made a betrayal. Its fallout should keep your attention on continuing to do good in all respects. Earning back trust is a worthy punishment to be never excluded. It is very hard work.

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

I think nondisclosure should be banned from all contract language.

Ever single one of them. But I digress.

It's contractual arbitration that must be banned. Talk about an affront to democracy.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (22334) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Respect for law and the support of truth enforcement - goes a long way towards cleaning up contracts social and others. This is a legal moral objective. Trampled over the years.

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

Corporations disdain the truth, it goes against their charters and all the money they've spent on propaganda.

If they are making enough money to buy our government, they are making way too much money, and that includes judges.

OccupyWallStreet!!!

It's a start...........:)

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (22334) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Hell YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We move forward.

[; >D

[-] 3 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

Good post GK. I believe they has accomplished "reform" in some states, Texas, for sure. I think the limit on medical malpractice is $250,000. So, of course, the cost of medical premiums has dropped precipitously, NOT.

On the subject is medical malpractice, I believe I have seen data that show that the number of doctors that are tagged in the suits are less than 4% of the total. The implication is that if those would lose their licenses and if medical schools were just a little easier to get into, the cost of malpractice would go down and so would the cost of good medical practice would both go down. But it is more fun to kick the lawyers, isn't it and besides we know who they contribute campaign funds to.

If we can get the money out of politics and governance several things might improve?

[-] 3 points by PopsMauler (182) from Chicago, IL 2 years ago

Agreed 100%.

Just another way for coporations and the wealthy to escape liability at the end of the day.

[-] 3 points by GypsyKing (8719) 2 years ago

And a damned viscious one at that - not to mention it flies right in the face of the right for citizens to address their grievances against the powerful through the rule of law, a fundamental concept of liberty that goes all the way back to the Magna Carta!

[-] 3 points by GirlFriday (17435) 2 years ago

Good post.

[-] 3 points by GypsyKing (8719) 2 years ago

It's an all out assault on working Americans, it really is.

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 2 years ago

I agree.

[+] -4 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

Interesting - The country the libs love to champion the most (France) has a great policy in this regard - loser pays. This would go a long way in discouraging frivolous lawsuits. I wonder why you would be against this idea?

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8719) 2 years ago

First I'd have to look that up to see if it's true, because the county the cons love to champion is the land of lies.

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[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

This is germane to the topic in what way?

Did we suddenly become France?

It's amusing to me that you would even consider the comparison.

[-] -2 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

I only consider the comparison because all the libs usually champion France as the bastion of Socialism when it suits their needs. Now you run away from it because you are boxed into a corner.

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

I don't "champion" France. (R)epelican'ts just hate them. It's as odd as when you cherry pick quotes from FDR.

[-] 3 points by GypsyKing (8719) 2 years ago

Yes, France, what a horrible country - vedant - maybe the best agricultural land in the world, miles of beautiful coastline, educated, vibrant people, sohistication, the world's greatest artists (except for maybe Italians) stupendous archetecture, free health care, 8 weeks paid vacation, champaign, bordeaux, The Riviera, beautiful and fascinating women, passinate conversations in quaint cafe's. What's not to hate, if you're a neo-con.

Now one on the "brilliant" neo-cons will come on here and say, "Yeah, but their economies in trouble!" . . . like ours isn't. The difference is they have something to show for their money, and the only conclusion beyond that which can be drawn is that felonious banking practices aren't compatible with civilization - not ours, or theirs.

But that has nothing to do with "tort reform."

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

Can we have all the nice stuff?

Educated vibrant people would be a great way to get started.

How about we start there and work our way to all the rest?

(R)epelican'ts even argue against that, and in some States they want to lie to students about history and science. The want to "force" teachers to teach lies under "threat".

That's (R)epelican't freedom? Lies!!

Talk about dumbing down America.

[-] 3 points by GypsyKing (8719) 2 years ago

Where did these Repugnicans come from anyway? There isn't another group of people on the planet so determined to destroy their own society, and at the same time be so certain that they're patriots. It's like a weird science experiment.

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

Not sure what to tell you, but there's a bunch of 'em in this place........:)

I left a song for you in here, scroll down a bit , hope you like it.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/replenish-recharge-refuel/

[-] -1 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

I love France the best part is 70% of their energy is nuclear. Imagine what we could do if we had 70% of our energy from nuclear power wow! Imagine if we also had a military that was 1% of GDP instead of 4% and had some other country subsidizing our defense. The possibilities are endless!

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 2 years ago

Wow, does that mean you want to cut military spending. I'm with you there!

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[-] 3 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Absolutely agreed!

Great post!

[-] 3 points by GypsyKing (8719) 2 years ago

Thanks epa1inter! You have quickly become a very valuable contributor here! Thanks for all your wonderful effort!

[-] 3 points by elf3 (2954) 2 years ago

Agreed!!! it's these little pin holes being poked into our freedoms that we don't notice but eventually there are just to many holes and it falls apart. Is chasing all of these attacks on freedom starting to feel like whack-a mole? They just keep popping up and we have to keep smacking them down. Should it be this hard to maintain a democracy really? And the propaganda is so thick I feel like it's invading my senses on a constant basis sucking all the oxygen out of the atmosphere and making my blood pressure rise. I feel personally under attack every day. Does anyone else feel like this?

[-] 2 points by rayl (1007) 2 years ago

that's part of the strategy 'grind down the opposition'. just keep focused on what you believe and steadily push on. your awareness of this is your greatest defense.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8719) 2 years ago

You got it my friend. The objective of our opponents can be outlined in a pretty short list.

  1. Divide us along racial, political, spiritual and philosophical lines.

  2. Confuse the issues.

  3. Appeal to our baser instincts.

  4. Promote fear and insecurity.

  5. Whip up nationalistic hatred of "the other."

  6. Convince us that we should chose only one tactic to oppose them )either protests, or encampments, or direct involvement at GAs, or engagement in politics, or signing pertitions, or social networking, or fielding new candidates, or voting, or boycotts, or supporting unions, or stopping forclosures, etc. That is because what they fear the absolute most is that we will do all these things and other things that they haven't even anticipated. That is what they are REALLY afraid of.

  7. Intimidate with terroristic threatening.

  8. Infiltrate our groups to learn of our plans, and provoke violence and then blame it on us.

  9. Sponsor competing groups with a secret neo-con message.

  10. monitor our communications, and if possible sabotage them.

This is only a partial, and yet very formidable list of things they can do, and the only way to overcome it is to participate on every level possible, to stretch their resources to the breaking point.

This will require a level of commitment, determination and solidarity unprecidented in American history, but it CAN be achieved.

Maya Angelou once said the of all the virtues, the primary virtue is courage, because without courage none of the other virtues are possible. Another thing she said was that if you find yourself on a dead end road, you simply have to step off it and strike out on a new path. That is the scariest thing to do in life, but the times demand such courage.

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Nicely said!

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 2 years ago

Thanks.

[-] 2 points by rayl (1007) 2 years ago

keep on keepin' on!

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 2 years ago

Thanks.

[-] 2 points by Reneye (118) 2 years ago

Without a doubt. Hang in there...I know it seems lonely at times, but you're about to feel better soon, 'cause people are waking up in droves now.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8719) 2 years ago

Yes.

[-] 3 points by Reneye (118) 2 years ago

The oligarchs are going d-o-w-n !! This is important GypsyKing. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. It would be the proverbial ''last nail in the coffin' if this were to go through. Keep your eyes open everyone, "tort reform = nasty", and when you see those words, get vocal and don't be shy.

[-] 3 points by GypsyKing (8719) 2 years ago

Thanks Reneye. It's nasty all right. They want to limit jury awards to something like $100,000 dollars. If you lost a family member to some coprporations attempt at cost control by neglecting safety, like from recalled rental cars for example, do you think a sum like that would be fair compensation, or enough to force the company to change their practices?

&#^@&!!!

[-] 2 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Agreed. Well said.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 2 years ago

. . . . :)

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

the judge in court

he named the tort for damages to be paid

the naive's retort reformed the tort

and cut the pay away

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (5952) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

The Founding Fathers were will aware the politicians and judges could be bought, so with some money a person could take everything from their neighbors with a crooked system. The jury awarded, unlimited amount, decided on by average citizens was the only way to ensure that those who could not buy the courts could still get justice. Torte reform is just a step toward “buying the courts”.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 2 years ago

That's it exactly. Yet another blow to democracy, liberty and the rule of laws and not of men.

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (5952) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

OK here’s the problem with thinking about stuff, you think of stuff.

So I was thinking that really torte reform is an extension of other conservative ideas, the government should control individuals, but not corporations, government should control jury awards, who you marry, what medicine you use, what procedures you can have and which you must have, and so on, the government controlling the individual so that they don’t threaten anything that the government wants to protect like marriage or corporate profits.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 2 years ago

Yep. that's the problem with thinking, it often leads to truth, and truth is dangerous. They're probably working on a pill to prevent it.. LOL

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (5952) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

I thought that was FOX news. : D

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 2 years ago

LOL!!!

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (5952) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

If it wasn't made for that, I think we got mold on bread.

It's ok if you don't get that last one, I like to push it out there sometimes, just to see ;).

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (5952) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

"torte reform" moves power from the people to the politicians, now for the most part I like government, but even I think this is a bad idea.

Nothing better shows how manipulated the thought process of those that support the right is. Here we have people who say they oppose government overreach supporting "torte reform" which is the biggest power grab by the government since minimum wage, but the righties all support it, because they have been told to.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8719) 2 years ago

Clairity, how refreshing in the cultural miasma of lies.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (5952) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Oh thank you gypsy, that actually is my intent here.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I suppose the founding fathers were aware that politicians could be bought because they themselves were politicians and as such were aware of their own shortcomings. While there is always some corruption, that is really a minor distraction, The fact is all systems are set up to serve particular interests and they do so for the most part quite legitmately and without corruption, but that still doesn't keep those for whom any particular system is not set up to serve from being screwed, again, quite legitimately and within the framework of the rule of law,

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (5952) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

The Founding Fathers were keenly aware of the dangers of inherited power. They knew that people did not obey the King because they feared God, (then as now people didn’t fear God that much), they obeyed the King because he had the gold, which he inherited.

The jury system was one protection that the common man had from the power of wealth. Most of the concerns that the Founding Fathers had concerned the accumulation and exercise of great personal power/money as they knew that monarchy would always be waiting to spring back and take our democracy from us.

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

Most of these so-called founding fathers you are talking about were the 1% of their day. There WAS an American revolution, but it didn't involve Hamilton, Madison and the typical guys yeu read about in high school history, Mostly it was against them. Read about Shay's rebellion or Beard's Economic Interpretation of the Constitution,

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (5952) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Buffet is a 1%er, that doesn’t make him wrong when he says his secretary should not pay more tax than him?

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I think there is such a thing as class traitors or an enlightened bourgeoisie. However, Buffet is essentially a shill for the Democratic Party one of the two big capitalist parties in the nation and from a progressive perspective far more dangerous to OWS than is the Republican Party. How many OWS activists, after all would be hood winked into becoming Republicans? Ulitmately it is important for influential people committed to this reactionary political economy to tell the truth about it in order to keep people attached to it by basically convincing them it is at bottom just, or at least reformable.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (5952) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

so you support the republicab party, I don't, I think that the GOP stands firmly against everything we want to do

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I do not know how much more clear my opposition to the Republican Party could be, a point of view I share with virtually every other progressive in the nation today. Where I differ with the mass base of the progressive community (though not all progressives) is in the role of the Democratic Party, which, far from being progressive in any meaningful way has been the grave yard of every mass movement since the days of the Populists. In terms of its success in confusing progressives, therefore, in a sense the Democratic Party is clearly a greater danger to OWS than is the Republican Party, that is even leaving aside that most of the municipal administrations that have smashed our encampments have been Democratic.

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (5952) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

The Democratic Party is a tool like any other:

First step make the GOP so weak it is not an issue. That means obtaining as many votes for D's as possible. Everywhere in all races.

Second step split the D's.

Third step build a real people's party.

Any questions?

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

Yes, the Democratic Party, like the Republican Party is a tool of the 1%. OWS and the labor unions and perhaps the liberals churches and maybe civil rights organizations and some environmental groups and a few other institutions are tools of the 99%. Unfortunately the 1% has two big parties and the 99% has none. Further the 1% spends a good deal of time and energy trying to convince the 99%(mostly successfully) that one of THEIR parties (the Democratic Party) is really a party of the 99%. Not only that, but they've been doing that for over 100 years and in so doing have continued to set back democracy and democratic movements again and again, especially with the use of this "tool" this very useful tool of theirs called the Democratic Party. Any questions?

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (5952) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Doesn't have to be their tool it can be ours, if we pick it up, that's treally all we have to do.

You seem very focused on keeping us from doing anything productive, sorry to say that but it is the way you come off.

Are you sure you're a supporter?

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

Actually, no, it can't be. Among other things the two major parties really do agree on essentials, which is exactly why they are the parties of the 1% and not parties of the 99%. Among other things they both agree, not only on the two party system, but on this particular two party system and time and time again they have combined forces to crush any serious challenge from outside the binary they constitute. They also very strong and ideologically support what they euphemistically call "free enterprize." It's one of the unexamined categories that they both agree on. There are lots of other basic things that they agree on, one of the most outstanding being foreign policy. There is a whole doctrine called a "bipartisan foreign policy" that they both agree on and have since 1947 after the isolationist wing of the Republican Party was successfully marginalized.

Virtually every effort to challenge any of this has been systematically smashed, so much so that even tough there have been a succession of impressive and important social movements in the interim there really hasn't been a serious challenge to this arrangement in the party system for nearly 100 years. The first serious challenge to the modern party system was probably the Populists, after they were effectively coopted into the Democratic Party a remnant of the Populist movement went on to form the Socialist Party which was quite literally smashed by the progressive Democratic President Woodrow Wilson's Justice Department. In the 1930s there were several local and state based labor parties that were co-opted into the New Deal.

Since then such efforts have been much more marginal and inconsequential, mostly because elements of the 1% have been able to hoodwink some of the most progressive elements in the nation into believing that the Democratic Party is a tool that anybody can use, not a tool that is specifically designed by the 1% for the 1% to hookwink the 99% into believing that this tool isn't what it in fact is.

Today this Democratic administration has done as much as any other administration, Republican or Democratic, to extend and expand American imperialism. The laundry list of what the Democratic Party does every day to screw the 99% is too long to list. But take for example the Employee Free Choice Act. Organized labor went all out to support the Democrats, telling itself, its membership and the general public that if only they voted Democratic the Employee Free Choice Act would pass. Fat chance. Once a Democratic administration and a Democratic Congress was in power not one second of thought was given to this legislation on which organized labor had pinned all its hopes and on which it based its support for the Democratic Party. Or just take the Occupation encampments. In nearly every instance they were evicted by a local municipal Democratic administration. Well that's their Democratic Party for you.

I would be very careful about casting aspersions on OWS activists who are critical of the Democratic Party. Many of OWSs initiating and most effective organizers are either anarchists or strongly influenced by the anarchist intellectual tradition. They don't vote for anyone and OWS would not exist without them. Many other OWS activists are socialists of various types who would never dream of voting for a Democrat. Still others are Greens or other types of progressives independent of the Democratic Party.

The home page of this web site makes it clear that OWS is nonpolitical and open to all political points of view. About the only political statem that it has produced is the Declaration of the Occupation of New York City which says absolutely nothing about electoral politics. I have been to general assemblies in at least half a dozen different occupations around the nation and I have friends active in at least that many other general assemblies. Of probably nearly 1000 general assemblies around the nation I do not know of a single one that has or would support or endorse the Democratic Party or any of its candidates. BTW, I'm not an OWS supporter. I'm and OWS activist and I think the distinction is significant. I don't think many OWS activists have the time to waste on the Democratic Party.

[-] 3 points by factsrfun (5952) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

I am very critical of the Democratic Party, but that doesn’t keep me from seeing how much worse the Republican Party is in regards to everything we are trying to do. There is no chance that an increase in the number of elected Republicans will not make our work more difficult going forward.

You seem much more focused on pointing issues about the D’s without noting anything the R’s are doing. This is exactly what an agent of the 1% would do to make us less effective. If you do not want to look like an agent of the 1%, maybe you should not act so much like an agent of the 1%.

[-] 2 points by Marlow (1141) 2 years ago

As a 'Liberal' .. I think 'Facts' has good point there. Quite Valid. ( imo)

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (5952) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Good morning Marlow, thanks for stopping by, I know it's thrassy, I just want to pull his crap out so I can give my answers, they really are easy ;).

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

Please, please, go to your closest general assembly. For all the shortcomings of the general assemblies they do give you a vision of a very different world, a world not ruled by the 1%. As the home page of this website says, we don't need politicians to build a better world. I will not argue that the Democratic Party is not the lesser evil, though sometimes it isn't. The problem with lesser evils is they are still evil and to vote for them is to be complicit with them which iis to say be complicit with evil.

I have been to more than half a dozen general assemblies in half a dozen different cities and in none of them have I ever seen any of the crap I see on this pointless forum about electoral politics, the Democratic Party and the monsterous Democratic Administration which wants to destroy our movement every bit as much as do the Republicans. We certainly don't accuse the people who see through this crap of being police agents.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (5952) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

You can do all that you can to keep the GOP in power so they can destory what we are doing or you can tell the truth about what they are and start taking over, it's not really up to you though, those who do nothing achive nothing in the end, I too have been to the general assblies and no one I have met there believe the GOP are of any value to us, we are determined to defeat them however we can.

[-] 1 points by craigdangit (326) 2 years ago

I'm pretty sure it's Thrassy. I wouldn't argue with him any more if I were you.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (5952) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Thanks just playing, like working out on a light bag before the fight.

Oh and don't know if we've met, good morning, thanks for stopping by.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (5952) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Look I want to believe that you do support what we are trying to do here. So let me tell you a way to combine voting with activism, take over the school broads, the right did this long ago, the races are small, a few activists really can take the seat. Then you could do radical stuff like teach climate change.

What I'm trying to say is that there are points where pressure can be applied to the system.

[-] 1 points by elf3 (2954) 2 years ago

let's keep this one at the top

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 2 years ago

Thanks.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Could not agree more. It is true, under the guise of "tort reform" our rights have been eroded. Our constitution specifically adopts the "common law" as our mode of jurisprudence, and of course tort law is a common law development (one of its hallmark features). When we lose the ability to seek redress for negligence through our courts, and the sole regulatory authority becomes a central government, it distorts the balance between average people and deep pocketed corporations (because average people can't hire an army of K street lobbyists to not only lobby elected officials and their staffs, but also federal agency regulators).

I'm not saying federal regulation is a bad idea, but when federal regulation preempts state tort law, all companies have to do is focus their efforts on Washington (when they try to distort policy in their favor). People don't realize how important this is (it's not one of those issues that get much air time, but preemption of state tort law is one of the primary reasons we see so many abuses by corporations).

What makes it worse is interests have gathered against state level tort law on both sides of the political aisle (even if inadvertently in some cases). The degree of preemption we see should I think be considered unconstitutional (it's slowly eviscerating the availability of common law remedies, weakening the rights of people to seek redress, and I think it's overreach by the federal government, distorting our federalist system and the checks and balances between states and our federal government). However, while democrats tend to support tort law (at least traditionally), they're also much more likely to interpret the commerce clause very broadly (and courts have largely acquiesced).

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 2 years ago

Bravo!!!

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Thank you ... and like I said I warmly embrace and vigorously agree with your comments, OWS should actively oppose tort reform (this problem underlies many of the abuses that have driven to this place), but more importantly, we should should be discussing this issue more aggressively, because many people "think" they support tort reform, while not truly understanding its implications.

[-] 1 points by JIFFYSQUID92 (-994) from Portland, OR 2 years ago

"Tort Reform" like voter suppression is an attack on democracy. There has been a small section of Americans that have opposed democracy ~ who favor kings, monarchy and despotism to satisfy some authoritarian or cult-like need ~ since our colonial beginning. Then we called them Royalists, Loyalists or Tories; today we call them Republicons. They work for the pleasure of the top 1% Kings, at the demise of the 99% people. They used to be a legitimate American political party, but their intolerance and hatred of truth, justice and the American way, in a sort of religious favor of greed and tyranny has rendered them a cult.

"The American governmental system was one founded at a time when dastardly monarchs ruled by quasi-divine fiat. Those who were to be the fateful originators of the Constitution feared, loathed and desperately wanted to proscribe such an authoritative form to the trash heap of history.

"Thus, with this ultimate goal emblazoned upon their consciousness, the framers went about establishing a system of government based on a superior principle: all political power should never be derived from a singular source or entity or institution (or administration); but rather it must be dispersed amongst various sources that all have the capability and imperative to forever check the machinations of the others. This was due to a prudent understanding of human nature and a large body of history that would turn out to be cyclical many times over.

"Wise men learned long ago that it better to be a nation of laws, not men."

In the American system of government, power derives from the consent of the governed. That power is expressed in two fundamental institutions: the voting booth and the jury box.

Thus we have "tort reform," voter suppression, and not "voter fraud" (a red herring) but ELECTION FRAUD!

http://www.commonwealinstitute.org/archive/tort-reform-organizations-and-the-far-right

http://www.mindofmurphy.com/2011/08/nation-of-laws-not-men.html Juries Protect Your Rights US Constitution, Bill of Rights • Sixth Amendment – Trial by jury and rights of the accused; Confrontation Clause, speedy trial, public trial, right to counsel. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense. • Seventh Amendment – Civil trial by jury. In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law. Juries Protect Your Rights (MP3 audio file) "[W]hat many of those who oppose the use of juries in civil trials seem to ignore is that the founders of our Nation considered the right of trial by jury in civil cases an important bulwark against tyranny and corruption, a safeguard too precious to be left to he whim of the sovereign, or, it might be added, to that of the judiciary." - Chief Justice William Rehnquist in Parklane Hosiery Co. v. Shore, 439 U.S. 322, 343 (1979) http://members.iimetro.com.au/~hubbca/trial_by_jury.htm

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8719) 2 years ago

Great comment! We must understand that it is an all-out battle against democracy and all working Americans, and we must fight back on every level possible. That is why I have become just PISSED OFF and suspisious of those who keep saying signing petitions, or taking court action, connecting with like minded organizations, or engaging the political process makes you a "wussy."

I incresingly see those saying this as either infiltrators or those who have been influenced by infiltrators. Anyone who thinks the enormous power of the 1% can be taken down through "direct action" alone is a dreamer.

The only way it can be done is by applying pressure EVERYWHERE and in EVERY WAY we can.,

[-] 2 points by JIFFYSQUID92 (-994) from Portland, OR 2 years ago

Yes, we have to capture public attention and make our grievances clear while applying legislative action. When we turn away from our government, we leave it for the Cons to use against us, i.e. 2010. That is stupid!

Unite and Win! Unite and Win! 2010 Never EVER Again!!

Image and Vote! Image and Vote! "We the 1%" NOT What They Wrote!!

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 2 years ago

Seems like common sense to me.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Great comment ... except that we should realize the common law is not really an instrument of democracy per se, nor is civil rights. Indeed our Bill of Rights is decidedly anti-democratic, because human rights cannot be subjected to the whims of popular sentiment. This is why we have an independent judiciary, founded on principles of common law, guided by precepts such as equity, fairness, reasonableness, and perhaps most importantly, precedent.

[-] 0 points by JIFFYSQUID92 (-994) from Portland, OR 2 years ago

Before we made a number of progressive improvements many transgressions ~ like Slavery and the denial of franchise to a variety of Americans, i.e. blacks and women ~ were "precedent."

http://www.alternet.org/story/154516/why_the_gop_campaign_for_the_presidency_is_about_guaranteeing_a_radical_conservative_future_for_america?page=entire

Swindlers and swindled: Republicons.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

Tort reform would reduce tort litigation or damages.

.

Tort actions are civil common law claims

for compensating wrongs and harm done

by one party to another's person, property or other protected interests

(e.g. physical injury or reputation, under libel and slander laws).

.

Tort reform advocates focus on personal injury common law rules in particular.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tort_reform

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (5952) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

I see tort reform as a power grab by those who depend on wealthy benefactors, at least today, for their jobs to determine something that should be decided by the people.

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

What about health care costs? Don't lawsuits drive up health costs also?

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

This is a very common view, but I would contend an inaccurate view. Suits at tort law comprise less than 2% of total costs we devote towards medical care. Now of course there's "defensive medicine" (which is not accounted for in this number), but most estimates I've seen calculate that defensive medicine accounts for less than 6% of the total monies we devote to healthcare.

I would say that's a pretty good return for the incentives it creates, namely, the incentive to not do things like have a three martini lunch before surgery, or leave sponges in patients, or make sure there's adequate administrative controls so the wrong (potentially fatal) medications aren't administered to patients, etc. etc.

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

Sure, it's not the only solution, but it's a necessary piece of the puzzle.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124761995712942601.html

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

I mean, if you're willing to take the WSJ on its word when it comes to an issue like taking our rights away in favor of more profits for corporations, then why are you here?

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

I am here because I want to bring change. I am a centrist, and I don't consider anything "off the table". However, you did present some compelling arguments against tort reform, which I have considered and will continue to do so.

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 2 years ago

He should also combat the ridiculously high fees charged by doctors and hospitals.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

We should realize that 75% of monies we devote to medical spending is on physician fees. Simply do a little research, see what our doctors earn compared to other western nations (with comparable quality of care) and you'll see what I mean. I'm not disparaging doctors, I love doctors, but it's also true that groups like the AMA do a very effective job of limiting the number of doctors licensed in the United States, and we don't have nearly enough available seats in our medical schools to accommodate the number of doctors we need. It's a simple supply and demand issue (economics 101).

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 2 years ago

The reason we can't fill those seats is because college for most is far too expensive. Consequently many universities are now importing students. I agree, doctor's fees are absolutely ridiculous.

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

What percent of that 75% goes toward malpractice insurance?

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

I'm not sure whether any of that 75% goes towards costs (like employee salaries, insurance, the light bill, equipment, etc.), but the average practice generates (in general) hundreds of thousands (even millions) per year, and of that only a small share goes towards insurance. Like I said, the "direct costs" associated with malpractice is less than 2% of the total (this includes insurance costs, attorney fees on both sides, and pay outs on law suits).

If we isolated it to the share of 3/4 of those costs, the math is pretty simple, we're still under 3% of the total (so in reality the costs are minimal, and certainly worth the benefits).

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