Justinian C. Lane, Esq.
Let Justice Be Done, Though the Heavens May Fall
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Justinian Lane's Blog

Justinian's Blog

Fear Brings More Tort Reform to Ohio

It's all but certain Ohio is going to get new tort reform laws.  And like most tort reform laws, this package was enacted due to fear:

"...[T]he provision was important not because there were a lot of cases related to a problem, but because there was a concern that it may become a problem."

This a classic tort reform technique - create fear about a type of lawsuit that could become prevalent, and then rush to pass legislation to fix the "problem." 

A recurring theme in the tort reform movement is that we need to pass laws to "protect" a certain class of defendants from being sued.  However, as I explained here, nothing can ever stop people from filing frivolous lawsuits.  This bill, for example, is supposed to protect farmers from being sued by people injured on their property.  But the reality is that an injured person could still sue the farmer, in which case the farmer has two choices - pay for a lawyer to defend his case, or let the injured person win a default judgment against the farmer. 

Tort reformers exploit the ignorance of the average citizen with respect to the law when they claim that tort reform will "protect" anyone from being sued.  It won't because it can't.

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