Archive for the ‘Tort Reform’ Category

Some Wins, Some Losses in Tobacco Class Action Suits

April 1st, 2015

In November, this blog published an article about the ways in which class action lawsuits—cases in which a group of individuals (a class) may stand together against wrongdoing—have the ability to protect Americans from a variety of threats: discriminatory and predatory lending and insurance policies, invasion of privacy, racial and gender discrimination, and mortgage loan…

The Right to Jury Trial in Civil Cases: Reasserting the Importance of the Seventh Amendment

February 25th, 2015

The right to a jury trial in criminal cases is well known, but the right to a jury trial in civil cases is also a sacrosanct right under the United States Constitution. The Seventh Amendment is under attack, argues Joanne Doroshow, executive director of the Center for Justice and Democracy at New York Law School….

Campaign Finance Threatens Political and Judicial Impartiality

February 18th, 2015

Back in November, we argued that in recent years campaign finance—especially among potential judges—has undermined Americans’ faith in the judicial branch. Thanks to, we’ve got more bad news on that front after only a few months’ time. The legal blog mentions the recent case of Altria, Philip Morris’ parent company, whose executives contributed half…

New Congress Expected to Take Aim at Asbestos Victims

December 24th, 2014

Now that the dust has settled after this year’s midterm elections—in which thirty-three Senate seats and all 435 seats in the House of Representatives were up for grabs—both the House and the Senate will be in the hands of Republicans (for the first time since 2006). Beginning in just weeks, we can expect to see…

More Evidence Tort Reform Doesn’t Lower Healthcare Costs

December 3rd, 2014

One of the issues this blog has covered tirelessly is tort reform, which (in states that have passed such legislation) has neither created more doctors nor lowered overall healthcare costs. Writing for the New York Times’ healthcare blog The Upshot, medical school professor Aaron E. Carroll provides a really informative and easy-to-understand primer on the…

Campaign Finance Undermines Americans’ Faith in Judicial Branch

November 19th, 2014

Tort reform is hardly a headline-grabbing subject, and it’s not all that often that a high-profile news outlet runs a thorough and insightful piece on the subject. The magazine Mother Jones has done so, however, in an article targeting interest groups’ financing of judicial elections called “Is Your Judge for Sale?” (thanks to civil justice…

How Class Action Lawsuits Help All Americans

November 5th, 2014

In the past, this blog has covered the issue of forced arbitration (through contracts of adhesion), a practice that enables corporations and other businesses to avoid lawsuits from consumers in favor of mediation with a company-appointed arbitrator. The consumer has no idea that he/she is bound to litigate any dispute by arbitration due the inclusion…

Are Punitive Damages in Texas Punitive Enough?

October 29th, 2014

In mid-September of this year, a jury in Texas awarded Martha Salazar $73 million dollars—including $50 million in punitive damages—after she brought a lawsuit against Boston Scientific, the company responsible for manufacturing the Obtryx transvaginal mesh sling. Salazar, who received the pelvic implant to clear up minor urinary leakage at the age of 38, can…

Missouri Cap on Punitive Damages Overturned

October 22nd, 2014

Punitive damages—monetary amounts designed to be a deterrent for reckless behavior against defendants—are important to the civil justice system in this country. However, they are also often attacked by critics in the so-called “tort reform” movement for being disproportionately large and arbitrarily assigned. The headlines that accompany recent cases—like Cynthia Robinson’s $23 billion punitive damages…

The Real Villains of Tort Reform Debates: Insurance Companies

May 21st, 2014

This month, pro-civil justice blog ran a story on an article published by the nonpartisan policy group the Center for Public Integrity called “Keeping an Eye on Insurance Companies that Refuse to Pay Claims.” Author Wendell Potter, a former VP at insurance giant Cigna, reports that companies like Aetna (which had a net income…

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