A couple of weeks ago, I appeared on Cynthia Hardy’s TV show to talk about tort reform. Because I was asked. Which just goes to show, if asked, I will talk about pretty much anything. Seriously, though… I forgot to mention it to y’all at the time, but as far as my comments are concerned, you didn’t miss much. My position on the issue is what it’s been for years — I’m not convinced on caps, and I think punitive damages (that is to say, those damages above and beyond what it takes to make the winning plaintiff whole) should go to the state — just like other punitive fines for criminal offenses. Basically, you would actually punish people who might otherwise write off lesser damages as the cost of doing business, but you remove the incentive for individuals and their attorneys to use the tort system as some sort of lottery.
For more, you can look at The State‘s editorial from earlier this year, and Cindi’s column from last year. I generally agree.
Beyond that, I’ve sort of lost track of the debate this year. I do that sometimes when neither side is pushing the position I would go for, and I have other things to do.
Seems that, according to Wesley Donehue (who works for the Senate Republicans) things are coming to a head today:
Watching the trial lawyers in the SC Senate block tort reform.
Hmmm. Well, I don’t suppose anyone can argue with that. I mean, it’s the free market at work, with each individual selfishly protecting his own economic interests. The Tea Party types and Sanfordistas should be thrilled. And the trial lawyers should certainly be happy.
But come to think of it, not too great for the Chamber of Commerce, or the legislative leadership. Or for the rest of us. But then, unless the legislation has changed considerably since the last time I looked at it, I’m not sure our interests would have been all that well served either way…