Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Will You Answer What Congress Won’t? The Top 20 Questions pt 4

Back in late 2004 and early 2005, I sent emails, faxes, and letters to every member of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate. In it, I asked them for their answer to a set of twenty questions which the readers of Polipundit wanted asked. The text of the letter was posted here.

52 Readers in 38 states joined the effort, asking their district Representatives and Senators to answer the questions. Response from our elected Representatives and Senators was poor, predictably so. Most Congressmen and Senators simply ignored the letters, emails and faxes. In the end, only seventeen answered with any degree of substance, and not one answered more than two questions.

I was looking at the set of questions this week, and you know, they still look like good questions to me, so I am going to ask you for your opinion on them. This will take a while, since I am putting up one question for each post, but please give this your serious consideration. And folks, this is not about politics or smacking down the other side; this is an opportunity to explore the issues of substance for our country. Sad that Congress was not up to it, but maybe we can get the conversation going. Thanks in advance.

4. What are your intentions regarding Tort Reform?

1 comment:

Antimedia said...

I think the single most important change to tort law we could make would be to adopt a loser pays system. Right now plaintiffs have no incentive not to sue. It costs them nothing if they lose, and they stand to make a tidy sum if the defendant settles and a possible fortune if the defendant loses in court.

This encourages frivolous suits. Lawyers will argue that judges have discretion to throw out frivolous cases, but the truth is, judges are lawyers as well and are disinclined to sanction their own.

If the plaintiff was required to pay the defendant's lawyer's fees if they lose or if they drop the case, plaintiffs would be much less likely to begin a lawsuit unless they truly believed they had a case.

I think punitive damages should be abolished. They do nothing but raise the price of the products the defendant sells, forcing the consumer to assume the costs of the lawsuit. If we really want to stop abuse by companies, we need to hold the individuals involved criminally liable for their actions, not punish consumers for their