Tort reform is an important issue that usually comes up during Presidential elections. It refers to changes in the civil justice system that limits a person’s right to damages in a personal injury, medical malpractice or accident case. Tort reform can mean many things. It can mean getting rid of jury trials, or curbing how much money is awarded to a person. There are many issues that tort reform raises, but the main issue is that it is bad for people who are hurt in an accident or are the victim of medical malpractice.
Where Do The Candidates Stand on Tort Reform?
Neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump have made their current position on the issue known. As a general rule, the Republican party has always tried to cap personal injury lawsuits. Democrats on the other hand, have historically opposed Republican attempts to limit the rights of those individuals with injury and medical mistake claims. So, which candidate is most likely to oppose Tort Reform?
Donald Trump is not a typical Republican candidate. He has fought with his own party, and made it quite clear that he has certain “big league” differences with the GOP. However, it is not clear that tort reform is one such issue. Trump is no stranger to lawsuits. USA Today reports that he has been involved in as many as 4,090 lawsuits. The call for tort reform is usually a battle cry to die hard Republican donors, including the insurance, drug and medical industries, who would benefit from the reform. Since Trump is not a typical Republican candidate, however, it is not clear that he will follow the usual trend. However, gun lobbies and the NRA strongly support Trump, given his repeated promises to support gun rights, and to protect the industry from civil lawsuits.
Hillary Clinton has also been silent on tort reform. From her political history, it seems is she opposed to it. She was part of President Obama’s cabinet during the Healthcare debate in 2009. During that time period, the Democrats avoided tort reform in the health field. While Clinton has been against it, she did support a fund which would help limit damages paid out in tort cases. Also, shortly after 9/11, she supported it for affected businesses. However, that could have been because the 9/11 attacks were an extreme circumstance. Overall, she has not brought up the issue this time around.
In short, tort reform is important. Yet, the candidates have been silent on it this election season. For the time being, the candidates are busy with making personal attacks on each other and leaving us all in the dark on this important issue.
Siobhan Donahue is a legal contributor to www.lawyers24-7.com.