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File your lawsuit now

What does it mean, exactly, that Scott Walker wants Wisconsin to lead the nation in tort "reform?"

It's hard to say precisely what he has in mind; we'll leave it to the Esenbergs and other lawyer/bloggers to enlighten us on the nuances and finer points of law.

But it's safe to say, in a general way, that the goals are to make it harder for victims to sue, put up more barriers for them to win a case, and limit the amount of damages they can collect if they win.

The first hints can be found in Walker's special session call, which includes the Legislative Reference Bureau's description of the contents his tort deform bill:

Limiting noneconomic damages awarded in actions against long-term care providers; actions against manufacturers, distributors, sellers, and promoters of certain products; confidentiality of health care services reviews; use as evidence of information regarding health care providers; reporting of quality indicators identifying individual hospitals; homicide or injury by negligent handling of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire; criminal abuse of individuals at risk; criminal abuse and neglect of patients and residents; evidence of lay and expert witnesses; damages for frivolous claims; and punitive damage awards.

Manufacturers of defective products that injure or kill people, health care providers, hospitals and long-term care facilities that care for Granny, and others will get protection from lawsuits by victims, and will have to pay substantially less if they lose.

That's a good thing, in Walker World. You see, if those manufacturers and hospitals make more money, it will be better for the economy than if they have to pay some of it to people whose lives were ruined or ended by defective products or medical procedures.

Hey, it's all about jobs, right? Maybe we can attract some industries that make shoddy products, or some doctors who aren't quite up on the latest procedures. The sky's the limit. Wisconsin's open for business. Yee-haw!

If you're thinking about suing, do it now.


January 4, 2011 - 10:50am