It is commonly called "tort reform" but make no mistake, when corporate water carriers propose limits on injury damages, what they are really advocating is cost containment for their friends in the liability insurance industry and doing it exclusively on the backs of legitimately injured people who have been validated by a jury of typical Tennesseeans and a judge elected from the community. People who get settlements and verdicts approaching the $250,000 proposed cap on payments are most assuredly severely injured and/or disabled. They have passed the scrutiny of a judge, gone thought all the examination and harassment that depositions and trial preparation entail, and after all the proof has been heard from either side, twelve citizens they do not know have decided they need that much money to be fairly compensated for the negligent act of another. I’ll dive deeper into this in a few days, but it is always appropriate to follow the money trail with legislation. Many will claim that lawyers profits will be affected, and that is true to an extent, but the fee of a lawyer who accepts a case on a contingency, as almost all tort liability claims are, is inextricably tied to the victim’s claim and without contingency fee attorneys, most people injured by another’s negligence would not be able to afford attorneys. Tort reform is the insurance fox saying it knows best how to care for the hens.
Today’s Tennessean takes a look at the current legislative debate.