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

Justinian's Blog

ILR Claims Disproven - Again.

Russ Bensing at The Briefcase writes about an email he received from the Institute for Legal "Reform" that mentions the "tort crisis" in his home state of Ohio.

"Now, I’m certainly not averse to pointing out the excesses of the tort system, as I did back here.  On the other hand, the “common sense reforms” the Institute lauds appear to be rather one-sided.  The “substantive progress made by the Ohio Legislature to fix the state’s lawsuit system over the last several years,” as the Institute phrases it, includes a new definition of employer intentional tort which actually requires that the employer have specifically intended to injure the employee.  As the Supreme Court noted the last two times it struck down an identically-worded statute, this could create a scenario in which an employer would be guilty of a crime but exempt from civil liability.

Interestingly, the Institute’s email coincided with the posting on the Supreme Court website of the Ohio Court Summary for 2006, a breakdown of cases being handled in Ohio’s courts.  One of the reports included in the summary is a tabulation of case filings, by type — professional tort, product liability, and so forth.  Out of curiosity, I compared the new case filings in various categories in the 2006 summary with the same info in the 1999 summary, the oldest one available on the court’s site.  That comparison doesn’t give a whole lot of support to the idea that Ohio is suffering from a litigation explosion, at least insofar as torts go.  New filings in professional torts are down 44% from 1999; product liability filings have decreased by 37%, and “other torts” have declined by 18%.  By comparison, new criminal cases, as you might expect, are a growth stock, climbing by 38% in the past seven years." (Emphasis added.)

Source: The Briefcase » Tort reform

Allowing corporations to commit crimes and not face civil liability... yeah, that sounds like an ILR idea.  And nevermind that tort filings are dropping like flies in Ohio; as long as there's a single tort claim filed, the ILR will claim a state is suffering from a crisis.