Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Tort Refort Advocates: Lawsuits for me, but not for Thee Tom Paine has examples of more hypocrisy from some of our more prominent advocates for tort reform. Typical criticism from Chimpy is to whine about frivolous lawsuits (as opposed to the first 40 years of frivolous living he engaged in). But about those frivilous suits:
As Texas Governor, George W. Bush was one of the "tort reform" movement?s biggest proponents. One of Bush?s first acts as governor in 1995 was to meet with representatives of nine Texas Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA) chapters in a salsa factory outside of Austin, after which he declared a legislative "emergency" on "frivolous lawsuits." Over his two terms, Bush signed a series of brutal bills that severely reduced injured consumers' rights to go to court. However, when it comes to solving problems involving his own family, Bush heads straight to court. In 1999, Bush sued Enterprise Rent-A-Car over a minor fender-bender involving one of his daughters in which no one was hurt. Although his insurance would have covered the repair costs, making a lawsuit unnecessary, Bush sought additional money from Enterprise, which had rented a car to someone with a suspended license. In this case, Bush seemed to understand one of the most important functions of civil lawsuits -- to deter further wrongdoing. The case settled for $2,000 to $2,500.
Or there is "no monkey sex" man Rick Santorum, when his wife sued her chiropractor for mistreating her back [hey that missionary position can be dangerous]:
In December 1999 Santorum supported his wife?s medical malpractice lawsuit against her chiropractor for $500,000. At trial, the Senator testified that his wife should be compensated for the pain and suffering caused by a botched spine adjustment, claiming that she had to "treat her back gingerly" and could no longer accompany him on the campaign trail. After the verdict, Santorum refused to answer phone calls asking what impact the case had on his views of "tort reform." According to his spokesman Robert Traynham, "Senator Santorum is of the belief that the verdict decided upon by the jury during last week?s court case of his wife is strictly a private matter. The legislative positions that Senator Santorum has taken on tort reform and health care have been consistent with the case involving Mrs. Santorum." In January 2000, a judge set aside the $350,000 verdict, deeming it excessive, and offered a reduced award of $175,000 or a new trial on damages only.
There's more examples from the hypocrites as well as whiny corporations as well. Go read.
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