This paper critically evaluates some of the print and electronic sources that deal with the tort reform issues in the United States. Tort reform is a policy developed to make changes to common law civil justice systems for the purpose of minimizing tort litigation or damages. …
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“What is tort reform?” is an article written by Eddins & Greenstone (2009) for the HG.org. This article greatly assists readers in getting a clear view of the tort reform in the US. In order to clearly depict this concept, the authors describe the term tort. They simply define tort as “a non-criminal civil wrong that is caused either on purpose or through negligence” (Eddins & Greenstone, 2009). Article writers say that medical malpractice and false imprisonment are some examples of tort. The tort reform attempts to put procedural limits on an individual’s ability to file claims and restrict awards of damages. In other words, tort reform imposes some limitations on the maximum amount the injured party can claim and the amount of time an aggrieved individual has to file a claim. The article claims that this policy may reduce frivolous lawsuits whereas it also takes away some rights of the victim. In his article “Tort reform important to U.S. future” published in CNN U.S, Dobbs (2005) points out long-term benefits of the tort reform. The author says that the proposed tort reform would amplify the nation’s economic growth as this policy is capable of reducing the enormous burden of tort litigations costs. The writer justifies his argument by pointing that US tort system has already exceeded $200 billion a year and this figure accounts for the nation’s 2% of GDP. Dobbs also illustrates that this figure may rise to roughly 8% unless necessary changes are made to the current tort system. Throughout his article, Dobbs refers to European court systems to support the terms of the tort reform in the US. Bornstein and Robicheaux (2008), in their book “Civil juries and civil justice: psychological & legal perspectives”, address different aspects of the proposed tort reform. The authors state that torts are not criminal offenses and they are aimed at determining liability but not guilt. Bornstein and Robicheaux (2008) point out that there are more tort trails in the United States than contract cases. As a result of increasing tort cases, legal authorities are forced to spend greater amounts of money and time on this issue. The writers also indicate that the proposed reform is the only sensible strategy to bring the US’ civil justice system under control (p.5). The article “Tort reform hurts citizens” was written by Alley Jordan (2011) and published on The Falcon website. The article writer argues that the tort reform policy would notably limit the constitutional rights of citizens. According to the tort reform proposal, a corporation cannot be sued over a certain amount as fixed by its state. This provision prevents plaintiffs from recovering complete damages. The author argues that arbitration clauses in the tort reform are likely to limit plaintiffs’ right to claim against corporations. The gag order is another constitutionally violating aspect of the proposed tort reform and it restricts the plaintiff’s right to speak about the trial publicly. The author concludes the article by stating that “tort reform is good for the corporations that support it, but is not good for average citizens” (Jordan, 2011).
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