Tort Deform: The Unlikely Victor Schwartz of the American Tort Reform Association
February 11, 2011
Victor Schwarts is the General Counsel for the American Tort Reform Association. He has been honest about the aims of the Tort Reforms and has indicated what in fact Tort Reform will not accomplish… Which is the opposite of what many of the Tort Reformers say it will.
[…] Here is Victor Schwartz today, contradicting the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Insurance Association, the PIAA, and a lot of politicians. As reported by Business Insurance.
But Victor Schwartz, general counsel of the American Tort Reform Assn. in Washington, was more skeptical. He noted that the recently introduced Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-Cost, Timely Healthcare Act of 2011—H.R. 5—does not mention sanctioning frivolous lawsuits. The measure instead focuses on “substantive” reforms such as capping noneconomic and punitive damages, he said.
It is “rare or unusual” for a plaintiff lawyer to bring a frivolous malpractice suit because they are too expensive to bring, said Mr. Schwartz. “Frivolous” claims tend to be made against small businesses as an effort to leverage a settlement rather than in medical malpractice cases, he said.
Even when Republicans controlled both houses of Congress, proposals capping damages garnered insufficient votes in the Senate, Mr. Schwartz said. “It’s extremely difficult to get caps through the Senate,” he said, adding that it also would be very difficult to integrate federal caps with existing state caps.