Noneconomic Damages Reform Essay

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Noneconomic Damages Reform There has been over three decades of debate over a reform that affects everything from insurance and health care premiums to the prices of goods and services. The Tort law gives civilians the right to put liability on a company and sue for a multitude of different things if something goes wrong. A main issue of the tort reform is noneconomic damages. Noneconomic damages are awards granted for “pain and suffering.” A solution to this ongoing problem is to set a cap, or ceiling, on the amount of compensation one can receive for his or her “pain and suffering.” An issue with setting caps is that they are argued against as “unconstitutional” and “violates the right to trial by jury” (Hudson) stated in the sixth…show more content…
According to Sherman Joyce, Victor Schwartz, and Darren McKinney of the ATRA, over 30 states have implemented some sort of noneconomic damages reform. For example, in 1986 the Alaskan government established a state cap of $500,000 on, “noneconomic damages for cases that do not involve any physical impairment or disfigurement.” In 1997, Alaska adjusted the noneconomic damages reform once more. In this modification of the reform, the state went into deeper detail addressing different instances that could occur and the sufficient compensation for an individual's pain and suffering. For a single death or injury to a greater extent of $400,000, they are awarded as much as their life expectancy multiplied by $8,000. In another instance involving severe disfigurement or physical impairment exceeding $1,000,000, it is the individual’s life expectancy (in years) multiplied by $25,000 (2). Many other states including Alabama, California, Missouri, and other states have established their own type of cap or system for awarding damages for pain and suffering. In states that have a cap or system of deciding awards, they have lower insurance and health care premiums and the prices of goods and services stays lower. This benefits the state’s economy as well as the Nation’s. According to most news articles and journals interpreting the progression of the tort reform, noneconomic damages reforms are the most common throughout the states. As
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