- This is one that I wish I had time to blog about. The Atlantic‘s Andrew Cohen wrote an article about a train crash in California that killed twenty-four people and seriously injured a hundred more. In 1997, Congress passed a law called the Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act that capped damages in train crashes at $200 million. Sounds great — until you have a train crash that injures over one hundred people seriously and their lifetime’s lost incomes, future medicals, etc. amount to more than $200 million. Then you have a heart-wrenching situation where a judge has to determine who gets what, potentially leaving some people without enough money to pay for their medical care.
PointOfLaw’s Ted Frank, a tort “reform” advocate has tried to distance the tort reform movement from the mess, saying, “no reformer I know of proposes per-accident caps [on damages] or economic damages caps,” insisting that bona fide tort reformers limit themselves to caps on pain-and-suffering.
Professor Bernabe replies here. The idea that tort reforms do not support caps on economic damages or other drastic reforms is completely risible. For instance, if you search older posts on his blog, Professor Bernabe has chronicled a nascent tort reform program: the abolition of joint-and-several liability. (A definition of joint-and-several liability can be found here). Tort reformers don’t want to limit merely economic damages. They’ve embarked on a root-and-branch campaign to make lawsuits futile to file. And if mainstream tort reformers are opposed to caps on economic damages, they’re killing us with their silence.
- Killer Cars: An Extra 1,000 Pounds Increases Crash Fatalities By 47 Percent
This blog in maintained by the Boston personal injury lawyers at The Law Office of Alan H. Crede, P.C.