Friday, August 17, 2007
At some point, I'll return to visiting the major campaigns' websites for their views on tort issues (if any). But I noticed this press release from Mitt Romney's campaign, including this:
Enacting National Tort Reform To Help Protect South Carolina Businesses:
Governor Romney Believes We Must Enact Common Sense Tort Reform At The Federal Level To Make The System Fairer And More Predictable For Both Companies And The General Public. These reforms will allow our companies to grow, while at the same time protecting those who deserve compensation for legitimate losses.
- Tort Costs Are Too High. According to a recent report, U.S. tort costs reached $260.8 billion in 2005, which translates to $880 per person. This is an amount greater than the Gross Domestic Product of all but 35 countries in the world. Frivolous lawsuits and outrageous damages awards create a "liability tax" or "tort tax," which are passed along to every consumer in the country.
- Governor Romney Believes We Should Limit Non-Economic Damages And Prevent Excessive Punitive Damages Award. Non-economic damages are inherently speculative, and a reasonable statutory cap makes sense. Governor Romney also believes we need a statutory prohibition on outrageous punitive damage awards.
- Governor Romney Believes We Should Require More Disclosure In Contingency Fee Arrangements. More disclosure will help clients make informed decisions, and it will help end abusive lawsuits and extortionate settlement demands by plaintiffs' lawyers.
- South Carolina Has Been A Leader In Reforming The Tort System. Despite passing numerous tort reforms, South Carolina still bears the burden of frivolous lawsuits and excessive damages because costs are passed across industries and states.