TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Saturday, February 16, 2008

McCain's Position on Tort Reform

Rush Limbaugh--no fan of John McCain--was asked by a caller to his show yesterday about McCain's position on tort reform.  Limbaugh referred the caller to an assessment by The Club for Growth, an economically conservative interest group.  Their summary is interesting, and certainly more relevant now than when it was released about a year ago:

Senator McCain's record on tort reform is generally positive. These votes include:

  • Sponsored the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 which sought to curb lawsuits by shifting suits from state to federal courts, by requiring judges to review all coupon settlements, and by limiting attorneys' fees in non-cash settlements
  • Voted for a bill that would bar lawsuits against manufacturers, distributors, dealers and importers of firearms
  • Voted for a bill that would place caps on damage awards in medical malpractice suits against obstetricians and gynecologists
  • Voted for a motion to proceed to a bill that would cap non-economic and punitive damages in medical malpractice suits

This generally positive record, however, is tarnished by Senator McCain's sponsoring of and outspoken support for the Patients' Bill of Rights, which encouraged an increase in the number of frivolous lawsuits filed against healthcare providers. He also voted against the Litigation Uniform Standards Act, which limited the conduct of securities class actions under state law.

The full report, here (you'll have to scroll down to find "Tort Reform"), includes citations to the votes.


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I'm curious as to where in the Patient's Bill of Rights it "encourages an increase in the number of frivolous lawsuits." Or alternatively, I'd love to meet the statistician who claims he can demonstrate how the Patient's Bill of Rights caused an increase in frivolous lawsuits. Your help is appreciated.

Posted by: Brandon | Apr 29, 2008 3:00:02 PM

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