Pocket-lining Litigation Should be Avoided in Opioid Epidemic
There are two things you don’t want to see being made – sausage and legislation. ~ Otto von Bismarck. This axiomatic quote says it all: you don’t want to see these things being made because the process will likely turn your stomach. The latest effort by Washington’s true masters is no less disgusting. Lobbyists for the insurance and medical industries are proudly – and loudly – claiming responsibility for a recent medical malpractice reform bill.
The U.S. Supreme Court handed down a decision on June 19 that may change the landscape for mass tort/class action lawsuits and not in a way favorable to injured plaintiffs.
Have you ever known someone who promises one thing and delivers another? It’s pretty disappointing, isn’t it? You wouldn’t buy a bag of chips expecting to find it full of leaves when you get home. Most folks would go back and demand a refund if that happened. Yet, this is exactly what is happening with some legislation working its way through Congress. Compared to what people really want, what our legislators deliver leaves much to be desired. It’s enough to make one wonder who really employs Congress: people like you and me, or corporations and big money?
House Republicans have spent a long time damning Barack Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Act. With Donald Trump in office and a majority in both chambers of Congress, the right-wing has already begun confidently chipping away at patient rights and protection. A newly-introduced bill, H.R. 1215, proposes punishing Americans who aren’t privately insured by capping medical malpractice
Casual readers skimming the headline of a recent Washington Times opinion piece, “Protecting consumers from swindlers,” would be forgiven for assuming the author advocated cracking down on scammy businesses. After all, with the new administration taking aim at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and legislation like Dodd-Frank, consumers need all the protection they can get. Alas, the “swindlers” in the article aren’t businesses that cheat customers, but the lawyers who take them on. The Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017, sponsored by Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), would limit the scope of class action lawsuits to bring justice for vast numbers of injured consumers.
It was one of the rallying cries of the recent election season, and so many others. Government, folks say, should act like a business. Businesses are inherently better and more efficient, and gosh darn it, people like them. That’s one reason Americans hired a “successful” businessman to turn government around. All of this sounds really reasonable, too, if you don’t think too much about the details. Unfortunately, those details are where the proverbial devil resides.
Here we go again with tort “reform” in Texas. It seems to be the biggest issue in the state’s legislature lately. We looked at the issue in Missouri earlier this week as it pertains to lawsuits in general. Today, we look at the latest tort reform efforts in Texas, where tort reformers are going after plaintiffs’ attorneys in hail damage suits involving insurance companies.
It’s near impossible these days to not hear something about tort reform. Insurance companies, corporations, Republicans and the defense bar all argue that tort reform is a “salve for seemingly every economic ill” as a colleague of mine wrote. We’ve seen, time and time again, that tort reform doesn’t deliver on what it promises (lower insurance premiums, increased physician supply, etc.). In some instances, tort reform actually limits access to the legal system for those who are injured.