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Musings and Meanderings
Friday, March 04, 2005
Here is something that slipped well under my radar. GWB has is ramming the tort reform through Congress with nary a peep from the opposition. Now many think that some amount of tort reform is a good thing, as do I. But in their usual way, the Reps have really stuck it to Mr. & Mrs. Joe Lunchbucket, again.
In an attempt to keep the most opportunisitic lawyers and plaintiff's from shopping their cases to county's that are favorable to their cause, the new bill has all but eliminated the possibility of anyone making a "big" (more than 100 plaintiffs or $5M in sought damages) class action suit in state courts. These have to go to Federal courts now, and with the backlog of cases, most experts expect cases to be dismissed without predjudice due to over work. Should the chief defendant and 2/3 of the plaintiffs be from that state, then a case can be tried in a state. This was the only modification the opposition was able to get attached to the bill.
So the practical upshot of this? Corporate America has has one huge present from it's long list of Christmas Gifts this Administration is giving them over the 8 yrs they will be in power. All this explains why the new Senate Minority Leader, Harry Reid, claims that the bill “slams the courthouse door on a wide range of injured plaintiffs.”