There is a movement in our state to limit the rights of injury victims.
It is called tort reform.
Torts involve wrongs.
If someone drives carelessly and smashes up an innocent victim, the wrongdoer has committed a tort– civil wrong for which he is to be held responsible.
In most cases the wrongdoer is covered by insurance to pay the damages caused the victim.
In some states there are a lot of frivolous law suits and run-a-way jury verdicts–
Not as many as reported but enough to infuriate legislators who want to slam on the brakes.
In New Hampshire we are not known for those problems, so there is absolutely no good reason to implement tort reform. In fact implementing things like loser pays will only prevent the little guy from pursuing justice and exercising his or her constitutional right to a jury trial— things near and dear to all of us who care about liberty.
The rich guy won’t care because he can afford to pay if he loses, and the poor guy can never be forced to pay because you can’t get blood from a stone. It is always the middle class who gets killed. Folks with something to lose, but not a whole lot, can not think about taking the chance. If they attempt justice and happen to lose– as can happen in the real world for any number of reasons– the insurance company will put an attachment or lien on their home and make them pay a price, sending a message to every one else: don’t mess with us!
Sure there will be fewer lawsuits, but at what price? The price is justice. The price is our constitutional rights.
These tort reforms are an assault on injury victims. It is my hope that the NH House of Representatives will do the right thing because the unintended consequences to the good folks of our state will be devastating.
I’m going to do more blogging on my experience before the Committee.
I enjoyed it very much, and found the members to be very attentive and hopefully receptive.
Many of them, like myself, are undoubtedly concerned and angry about the direction our country is heading. In light of that, actions like tort reform sound good and sound tough, but any time you monkey around with constitutional rights and access to the courts you play with fire.
I’ll be back with more on this experience soon, but after being out of the office all day to be in Concord, I’ve got to work on a few personal injury cases before it gets too late.
All the best.
Keep your strength.