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Tort Reform Essay

2335 words - 9 pages

Tort Reform iRunning head: TORT REFORMThe Purpose and Efficiency of Tort ReformTort Reform iiAbstractIn any reforms encouraged by a government, it has proven to create a great impact on the lives of people. In an increasingly litigious society, tort reform is a subject that had brought about great debate. With costs never ceasing their inevitable rise, especially in the medical field, tort reform discussion has increased. The cause and effect of lawsuits, and the cure of huge settlements, live in a world of gray, and not black and white. Truly, something needs to be done, but the implementation of legislative controls is a very touchy subject, with powerful lobbies on both sides.Tort Reform 1Is Tort Reform A Cure?Tort Reform had been a popular political issue, especially in the United States. With its aim to improve the efficiency of courts and limit the compensation and tort litigation among victims, its concept had become an issue in past presidential elections. According to an article written by Shrager, Spivey and Sachs, the method of tort reform has the tendency to limit the rights of victims and may even promote injustice to the oppressed wherein tort reform is believed to have emphasized in protecting the people causing harm or damage upon the victim. (Shrager, Spivey and Sachs, 2007)The word tort came from the French legal term avoir tort, which means 'to have wronged.' The cases under tort involve inflicting harm to a person's reputation, security, financial sources or property. For instance, two of the main examples of tort cases are personal injury and medical malpractice, when a patient sues a surgeon; the surgeon would not be imprisoned. Instead, the surgeon is obliged to pay for the expenses and medical bills in order to recompense the suffering and damages caused to the patient. The tort law is described as disparate from criminal law or contract law because the purpose of a tort case is to find remedies and restore loss or damages through compensation. (Shrager, Spivey and Sachs, 2007)However, some people believe that tort reform is just a waste of time and it has the tendency to describe the plaintiff to be only interested in gaining financially instead of focusing in concerns that are more important. A report on medical malpractice in Pennsylvania stated some facts on torts such as the following,Tort Reform 2•"Juries are often characterized as biased against doctors, incompetent and irresponsible, but research shows that doctors win in more than two out of three cases tried to juries and that the amounts of jury awards are positively related to the seriousness of the injury. Trial judges and neutral medical experts tend to agree with jury verdicts…jury awards constitute only a small fraction (between 5 percent and 7 percent) of all medical malpractice payouts; most cases are settled prior to trial."•"An examination of the jury awards over $1 million shows that the patients in these cases suffered very severe...

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