What "Tort Reform" might mean to you, if you become a victim and attempt to seek justice in our court system.

In the last 20 plus years there has been a movement backed by several special interest groups that have focused on so called “tort reform” in our country. What the general population have heard the term “frivolous lawsuits.” In other words, lawsuits that have no foundation or basis.
You may have also heard such terms as, “Jack pot settlements.” Bush #43 used that while speaking to a medical group. He was met with cheers.
Well what has happened these special interest groups have focused on peoples fears. We’ve seen this in the recent months in the health care reform. The use of “death panels” which was an out and out lie, or the fear of “socialism” or the fear that the government will be in charge of everything.
Feeding the fear of the unknown or just fear in general is an old tactic. And it has historically worked. Well, until those who have had enough stand up and won’t take it anymore and fall back on reason.
You can only yell “wolf” so many times.
What these special interest groups have not talked about is the fact that “they” want to stop “you” from having access to the court system of America.
They do not want you to take them in front of a jury. Why? Simple. They cannot control a jury.
When it comes to selecting a jury, both sides, weather in a civil trial or a criminal trial get to pick half of the jury. So, what that means, the lawyers representing both sides will pick those to serve on the jury who will be more sympathetic to their client.
So, at the start of the trial, before any information is presented to the jury, both sides ideally have a fifty-fifty chance of winning.
You see, the “jury” is a very powerful group. I won’t go into what power they wield, but let me tell you this, do some research on the web.
You will be very very surprised what you, the Citizen of the United States, to learn, just what power you have in a court of law, as a member of the jury.
The legal profession, lobbyists, and special interest groups don’t want you to know about your “powers.”
They are afraid of you.
Like when a government wants its people to fear it. In reality, the government should fear it’s people. There are more “people” then there are ‘government.”
I not here to press for a “revolution.”
I just want you to be informed.
Informed people are well, historically, very “dangerous” people.
But I digress.
There are those who want you NOT to have access to the court system of America. I mean, if they have nothing to fear or hide, then why are they afraid to NOT appear in a court?
You see, here in Texas, to combat “frivolous” lawsuits, in the Texas Rule for Civil Procedures is Rule 13. This is a rule that stops a civil case if it has been deemed “frivolous.” When researched and followed through it ends the lawyer who brought the case career.
On the Federal level, I believe it is Rule 11. You may want to check up on that since it’s been a while.
But it does the same thing.
Here in Texas a few years back, there was medical “tort reform.” The insurance companies and the medical profession loved it.
Of course, the victims of medical malpractice, those who’ve had limbs amputated that didn’t have to be amputated, for have died, or have found themselves permanently disabled, well, just have to suck hind “tit” on it.
As I’ve written elsewhere, here in Texas, the most a victim of medical malpractice can sue for is $250,000.
From that you must:
1. Deduct all your lawyers legal fees
2. You insurance company gets all the money they spent in treating you due to this medical malpractice BACK.
3. You get what is left over.
One guy in Houston got a just under $70,000. Of course, he’s in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. What’s left of it and his family is suffering financially.
But hey, he’s a crybaby….just because some doctor made a mistake he’s is stuck on a machine and in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

Now, here is a video of Al Franken talking about a women who was gang raped, sexually harassed, and a few other things.
Because of her contract she couldn’t take her employer to court for these acts.
She’s been trying for 4 years to get access to the American Courts.
It’s about 10 minutes in length.
It’s something you need to see.
Then make your judgment.
You make not like Franken. You may like Franken.
You need to watch and listen to this video.
By the way, on those juries who make those “jack pot settlements” remember this:
Half were picked by the plaintiff attorney and the other half were picked by the DEFENSE attorney.
So when a jury that at the start is 50-50 and they award a big settlement, think of what they must have heard during the trial.

What's your view on this?

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Comment by Rick on October 24, 2009 at 5:26am
Here in America we, the People are supposed to have access to the "Courts."
In other words, you are entitled to have your day in court.
You may win
You may loose.
Now, that all said and done, from my experiences, as one who has brought a suit and has been sued, the courts are financially biased.
If you're poor, you're going to loose.
If you're rich, you're going to win.
In Dallas, Texas a few years back, many illegals were sent to prison based on false drug charges.
You had a bad cop who got caught, who, in order to save his rear, turned states evidence.
The evidence used to convict them was actually ground up wall board.
Now because they were here illegally, and many didn't speak the language, they were essentially rail roaded.
One of the tactics companies have started to do is in their contracts, weather you're buying a home or a car or a service or even an employment contract to to make mediation the only recourse you are allowed.
If you sign the contract, then you agree to it.
The women in the video was raped. In fact, she was gang raped.
She was raped so badly that she needed surgery.
She had informed her employer of the sexual harassment.
She did so many times.
They ignored her.
She is seeking recourse through the courts system. The employer says no, sorry you have a contract and you have to go through mediation.
So what we're seeing in a growing trend to essentially deny the American citizen ergo the "People" access to the courts.
Now as for medical malpractice...
Yes, honest mistakes happen. It has also been found that if the Doctor or person responsible apologizes for their mistake, the monetary amount the victim is asking for drops.
In short, just saying, "I'm sorry" carries a lot of weight.
What has happened here in Texas is that victims of medical malpractice continue to be victimized by the laws themselves.
The only ones who are making out are the doctors and the insurance companies.
However, due to the laws here in Texas, doctors who've had numerous malpractice suits brought against them are moving here.
One of the things I've noticed in both the Medical and Legal field is that those in the field don't rat out the bad ones.
There are lots of bad doctors and lots of bad lawyers.
And it's expected that they protect each other.
Seems, no one is interested in protecting the victims of their inabilities.
But what is even more sad is when you know someone that has suffered due to medical malpractice and when they decide they are going to turn to the courts, they find out what the end result is.
Their response?
"That's NOT what I voted for!"
Sadly, it is.
Comment by Mike Hein on October 23, 2009 at 1:28pm
There is a difference between a mistake, in that doctors and hospitals are not perfect, and negligence. The problem in the US and elsewhere is that people feel entitled to money when a medical professional makes a mistake. Incorrect diagnosis, slip of the hand during surgery, using too much of a drug in the ER...these are errors and they will happen.

Everybody has a favorite anecdote they like to tell about tort reform and medical malpractice. The bottom line is that it should be far more sophisticated than limiting damages or punitive awards. Also, as Walter mentions, one of the conditions of settling out of court is that the plaintiff agrees to sign an agreement whereby the doctor admits no wrongdoing. It's a crazy situation because these unrecorded situations still cost everybody money.

Tough problem and far more involved than most politicians, including former comedians, can understand.
Comment by Rusty Gunn. on October 23, 2009 at 12:25pm
Glenn wrote: "I'd hate to see legitimate US lawsuits quelled, but also I can see where the system is so terribly flawed that good MDs cannot even get basic insurance and there needs to be some kind of balance to the system."

The "balance" I'd like to see is getting something effectively done about medical mal-practice. Most of your really bad doctors settle out of court and there's no public record of the number of times they've been sued and lost.



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