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Tort Reform In Hot Coffee

Good Essays
Tort reform is a push by special interest to limit tort litigation in the U.S. The documentary Hot Coffee, walks us through 4 case studies on the methods used by the Tort reform lobby. Composed of businesses, manufacturers, hospitals, insurance companies and other businesses. Using their money to affect changes to the 7th Amendment statutes:
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
The purpose of tort law is to provide compensation to victims when they have experienced harm or loss. Making the person “whole” and
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Leibeck, originally sued to cover her out of pocket cost. Mc Donald’s however only offered $800 when her medical bills exceeded $10,000 which Medicaid did not cover. In using the media to mock and distort this case the American Tort Reform Association was able to gain sympathy for changing the way in which civil suits where resolved.
Karl Rove using his business and political connections began to influence public perception that caps of tort was a good way to curtail litigation abuse. Unaware of cap statutes many times the plaintiffs were surprised how personally affected their cases would be due to cap reducing what the jury allotted them for monetary compensation.
As in the case of Collin, who because of medical malpractice has no chance of ever being able to take care of himself. The jury in his case awarded him $5.5 million only to have the judge reduce it to the cap amount of $1.25 million. Which is a little over one fifth the amount he needed to live well once his parents weren’t around. In doing this Collin becomes the problem of his state and the tax payers. Caps essentially negate the jury’s decision, implying your peers do not know best and only the judge/statute is correct. The Department of Commerce being behind such actions seems a conflict of interest. Shouldn’t a government entity uphold the
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By the use of Mandatory/binding Arbitration clauses. In Jones v Halliburton, 19 year old Jaime Leigh signs a contract with Halliburton in Houston Texas, on of the states deeply entrenched in tort reform with the help of then Gov. George W. Bush. Rove, who helped Bush get elected for governor uses his corporate backers to finance the Bush campaign, in return they gained a governor and eventually president who was a mouth piece for their cause. Jaime wound up being stationed in Iraq, and within 4 days of her arrival she was raped, disfigured and further abused by having evidence
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