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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Monday, May 19, 2008

A tale of tort reform

Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying, “A countryman between two lawyers is like a fish between two cats.” Well, in two states, the kitties’ feast has finally ended. Missouri and Mississippi, both one-time playgrounds for trial lawyers, have closed the door on free rides.

Missouri’s transformation began three years ago, when the legislature limited punitive damages in liability cases to $500,000 or to five times the net amount of the plaintiff’s award, whichever proved greater. The legislation also capped non-economic damages at $350,000. Since then, medical-malpractice claims have plunged by 61 percent, and fewer doctors are leaving the state.

Travel south to Mississippi, and the results are similar. Since that state’s tort reform four years ago, which capped awards for non-economic damages and banned trial attorneys from shopping around for a sympathetic judge, jobs are up by approximately 60,000. In addition, unemployment is down from nine percent to six percent, out-of-state business investment is up and medical-malpractice lawsuits are down by almost 90 percent, resulting in a 30-45 percent reduction in malpractice insurance. Furthermore, more students are now considering studying business and fewer are studying law.

While there is reason to celebrate, don’t hold your breath. Outside of unions, trial lawyers are the biggest Democrat donors on the list. And while cats will often bite the hand that feeds them, Democrats won’t.

From the Patriot Post


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