Despite everything you read and hear, the campaign called “tort reform” is designed to limit your ability to hold large organizations, municipalities and corporations responsible for their negligence through personal injury lawsuits. This campaign is well funded, and many ordinary Americans believe that limiting the ability to file lawsuits and receive damages is a good thing.
Unfortunately, the rationale for this campaign, the so-called “litigation explosion,” is not real. The number of lawsuits have declined significantly in recent years. The lawsuits that do get filed are anything but frivolous, contrary to what we are told. However, it benefits the promoters of tort reform to adjust the truth.
This is a well-financed campaign, involving scholarly think tank reports, press releases and news stories, blogs, Facebook pages, tweets and political campaigns. There are many organizations that have been founded solely for the purpose of advocating for tort reform, suggesting that limiting access to the justice system is the goal of multiple grassroots organizations. It is primarily the brain child of executives from Fortune 100 companies.
The corporations do not usually finance tort reform lobbying efforts directly. Instead, they work through a variety of institutes and organizations, many of which are non-profit 503 (c) (3)s. This allows the companies to distance themselves from the campaign while pointing to the apparent grassroots character of the organizations.
In our next post we will name and describe a few of these organizations that promote the agendas of their funders–huge corporations that seek to limit the ability of ordinary people to obtain justice.
Source: Trial, “Reclaiming Justice: Battling Tort ‘Reform’,” Dec. 2012.