November 29, 2009
The fact is that companies and doctors have never lost their rights under the guise of so-called “tort reform” because these laws never limit the rights of corporations or professionals to sue to recover money. Unfortunately for most of the rest of us, our rights to go to court have been severely weakened – if not eliminated – against reckless companies, fraudulent misconduct or grossly negligent professionals.
In 1995, for example, Texas limited governmental and professional liability, decimated Texas’ Deceptive Claims Practices Act and severely limited punitive damages for companies whose misconduct is especially bad. Over the next decade, Texas went on to make it nearly impossible for patients injured by medical malpractice to get into court, laws so unfair that the state constitution had to be changed to allow it. At the same time, the Texas Medical Association was running to court to make sure managed care companies paid their doctors.