My wife asked me about this subject the other day and I thought I would write something quick about it. Her question was from a co-worker who stated that we have a constitutional right to sue for damages. Now this in context is correct, but it does not address the primary issue of tort reform. I do not see anywhere in the constitution a right to penalize others financially for their wrongs against us. While a court may decide to levy a penalty against a corporation or individual for negligence, it is not a constitutional right to benefit financially from the court’s ruling. This practice has become irrationally common in modern law. While a victim has every right to compensation for future treatment, loss of wages, and paying off related debts; they do not have a right to require the defendant to provide for them indefinitely. If gross negligence by the defendant(s) is suspected, then criminal charges should be sought against those who made the decisions in question. If a judge believes that it is the organisation as a whole which is responsible for the wrongs, then the company could and should be penalized with an order to community service or punitive damages benefiting society as a whole, not just a single person, or limited group of people. By removing the lottery payoff from punitive cases, the government would reduce the strain on both the courts and business. This would free up the court system to better attend to the justice of the people. Second this would reduce the costs of business dramatically. This is the most beneficial of all results, as it would allow business, especially in the medical field, to reduce their costs to the consumer. By doing so government would provide far more benefit to society than excessive penalties allow. It is obvious to those who care to look, that the only individuals who benefit from the current tort system are the lawyers and citizens who abuse it. Victims and society would be better served by a more rational system.
– Independent Thinker