Saturday, May 13, 2006
Issue 11 ----- Tort Reform
Candidates Express Their Views on Tort Reform
We asked the candidates for their responses to 13 questions. Here is issue 11. We put the candidates names in the blogomatic candidate randomization selector, so the order of their answers is totally random. Here's the eleventh of our questions.
What is your position on tort reform?
The system is set up to protect the consumer and that’s the way it should be. There are safeguards in place to protect physicians. We need better quality healthcare. Sometimes a person has to sue to ensure others get it.
According to William M. Sage, MD, JD, The key to making this work is selectivity. Hospitals and medical groups with demonstrated capacity to deliver high-quality care should receive malpractice relief in exchange for putting in place systems that detect and prevent medical errors, communicate effectively with patients, and pay timely, reasonable compensation for avoidable injuries. I agree with this direction for reform.Haggerty
I am opposed to putting arbitrary limits on damage awards. A one size fits all damage limitation will do nothing but victimize those who seriously injured by the negligence of others. Lawyers do not make damage awards, juries of non-lawyers make awards. Most important, there is no solid evidence that arbitrary caps on damages actually reduce insurance costs.
Strike a balance between those injured in the course of medical care and the need for access to medical care. Caps on non-economic damages like California has had for decades reduce the time and cost of adjudication and increase access to the courts for non-fatal injuries - justice for all. “Loser-Pays” protects the rights of the injured and the innocent simultaneously. Support Empower PA.
The Fair Share Act, recently vetoed by Governor Rendell, would have provided that a defendant be financially responsible only for his or her proportionate share of liability in a civil case and would have brought Pennsylvania in line with lawsuit reform measures passed in 44 other states. I support enactment of this legislation
Additionally, I support common sense caps on non-economic damages in civil cases.
There is a crisis with all matters regarding litigation in PA. We have been witness to people suing and being awarded large sums of money for things that we truly their fault. In reforming this process, the first area that should be examined is frivolous lawsuits that cost all of us money in legal fees and court costs as well as the lawsuits that are filed that simply take advantage of good doctors. I do not believe an overall "cap" should be placed on everything, but I do believe we are in desperate need of medical malpractice reform and more protection for our Physicians.