Tort Reform — or Uncoupling the Democratic Party and the Trial Bar
January 6, 2011 1 Comment
I will talk about Republican Party corruption when I see it, and I will, because many of the lads and lasses coming to Washington to serve in Congress are Republicans, and corruption here in the nation’s capitol is, well, attractive.
But this post is about Democratic party venality, specifically their repugnant marriage to the trial lawyers, the thing that keeps Democrats from being sensible about health care reform, and the thing that keeps Democrats from supporting rational tort reform because trial lawyers give them so much money.
Trial lawyers are an industry. They survey the many possible ways to part corporations from their money, and seize upon the best prospects, or any prospect — even a stupid settlement puts money in the pockets of the trial lawyers. And trial lawyers give millions to the Democratic party. And the Democratic party protects trial lawyers and their predations.
It’s not difficult to protect trial lawyers. All you have to do is write laws, or regulations, that make it more difficult to avoid a jury trial. Jury trials cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Not many companies can afford that. So if laws and regulations skew toward jury trials, trials lawyers make a fortune. That’s because trial lawyers get paid first, in the typical settlement.(And the plaintiffs get a coupon.)
That’s bad enough. But exploiting bad science is really bad. We now know that the theory that autism is caused by vaccinations is a fraud. And we now know that the fraud was perpetuated so that trial lawyers could make money. According to CNN, the scientist who promoted the theory that autism is caused by vaccinations —
has been unable to reproduce his results in the face of criticism, and other researchers have been unable to match them. Most of his co-authors withdrew their names from the study in 2004 after learning he had had been paid by a law firm that intended to sue vaccine manufacturers — a serious conflict of interest he failed to disclose.
After years of controversy, the Lancet, the prestigious journal that originally published the research, retracted Wakefield’s paper last February.
We need tort reform.