The Executive Director of the Center for Justice and Democracy has published an on-point editorial on “tort reform.” The article, entitled “Memo to Corporate America and Organized Medicine: No One Likes a Hypocrite,” highlighting the hypocrisy of so-called tort reform.
An example of the hypocrisy listed was billionaire oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens who is one of the largest donors to a special interest PAC dedicated to closing out options for consumers hurt or defrauded by Texas companies. However, Pickens utilizes the justice system when he feels hurt or defrauded. Pickens ran straight to a Manhattan courthouse when he believed that the bankrupt Lehman Brothers owed him money.
Medical societies were also listed as an example of hypocrites championing for tort reform but gladly using the civil justice system to their benefit. The Texas Medical Association opposed the Senate health care bill because it did not go far enough to take away the legal rights of patients injured by grossly negligent medical care. However, TMA had previously sued the country’s largest health insurance companies for delaying payments and keeping money from doctors.
Although this type of hypocrisy may sound silly, the editorialist argues that this is common in the freewheeling world of corporate litigation. Companies and doctors have never lost their rights under “tort reform” because these laws never limit the rights of corporations and professionals to file lawsuits to recover money. Unfortunately, for most of the rest of Americans, out rights to go to court have been severely weakened if not eliminated because of tort reform.
Read the full editorial here.