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Jim Lewis
Jim Lewis
Attorney • (800) 752-0042

Presidential Candidate Proudly Declares Support for Denying Victims Compensation

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry has joined the 2012 U.S. presidential race, and one of his primary talking points for being qualified for the position is “litigation reform.” This is code for “tort reform,” which is code for “denying victims injured by negligence adequate compensation.”

Most tort reform advocates proclaim the importance of capping economic damages so victims can only get a fixed amount of money if they prevail in a medical malpractice lawsuit, nevermind the extent of the injuries suffered by the vicim. Governor Perry is not only a major proponent of capping damages, but he also advocates for “loser pay” laws.

Loser pay is advertised as a way to ensure people who file “junk lawsuits” are penalized for bringing the unnecessary litigation. In reality, loser pay laws are a way to dissuade victims from actually bringing any medical malpractice lawsuit. How? If you’re a victim who has racked up thousands of dollars in medical bills or been out of work for a while because of the injury, the prospect of having to pay for the doctor’s legal bills if you lose your case is daunting. Loser pay is against the basic underpinnings of the Seventh Amendment right to a jury trial for torts.

What’s even more frustrating about Perry’s stance on tort reform is the fact that he inaccurately boasts about the improved climate for doctors in Texas after his reckless tort reform laws went into effect. He declares that more than 20,000 doctors came to Texas because of the new tort laws. This was proven to be completely false by Politifact.

The truth is that tort reform is not designed to actually improve the health care climate since patients are inexorably included in that climate. Tort reform exclusively benefits the health insurance industry and negligent doctors who are willing to do anything to avoid liability. It’s time politicians proclaiming their love of tort reform be honest about what it’s really all about.

PA

About the Editors: The Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, which has offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC), edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono services.

2 Comments

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  1. Mark Bello says:
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    Jim: Thanks for joining the anti-Perry party. I have been criticizing Perry and his Texas policies in several posts at this location. His entire campaign is built on lies and a pro-business, anti-citizen agenda. That he is not in my state or yours is beside the point; he is running for president and we must keep exposing charletons like this clown. Keep up the good work. Regards, Mark

  2. Cilla Mitchell says:
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    In Texas, ever since Governor Rick Perry signed the 2003 Tort Reform Act, not only did Governor Rick Perry deny victims injured by negligence adequate compensation, he allowed doctors to murder their patients without accountability. In Texas, Tort Reform is a legal weapon used against Texans.

    In Texas, the only way families can avenge the death of their loved ones is not through the judicial system, but in most probability, take the law in their own hands.