Tort Legal Reform
- Mischief; injury; calamity.
- Any civil wrong or injury; a
wrongful act (not involving a breach of contract) for which an action will
lie; a form of action, in some parts of the United States, for a wrong or
- To put into a new and improved
form or condition; to restore to a former good state, or bring from bad to
good; to change from worse to better; to amend; to correct.
- To return to a good state; to
amend or correct one's own character or habits.
- Amendment of what is
defective, vicious, corrupt, or depraved; reformation.
V - No person
shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime,
unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in
cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when
in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any
person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy
of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a
witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or
property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be
taken for public use, without just compensation.
VII - In Suits
at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty
dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact
tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the
United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
VIII - Excessive
bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel
and unusual punishments inflicted.
- Ushering in an Ownership
- Small Business
- Though more work
remains to be done, including reauthorizing the Small Business
Administration, President Bush and Congressional Republicans have
made good on each of those commitments. They have:
- Enacted common
sense liability protections in the Terrorism Risk Insurance and
- An area in
special need of more work is liability reform. Frivolous lawsuits
put more money in the pockets of trial lawyers and leave businesses
with less money to create jobs. They raise health care costs on
small businesses, often preventing them from offering health
insurance to their employees. We support efforts by President Bush,
Congressional Republicans, and Republican governors to curb the
burden of frivolous lawsuits.
- Building an Innovative,
Globally Competitive Economy
- Reforming the
litigation system is broken. Junk and frivolous lawsuits are driving
up the cost of doing business in America by forcing companies to pay
excessive legal expenses to fight off or settle often baseless
lawsuits. Those costs are being paid by small business owners,
manufacturers, their employees, and consumers. A typical small
business with $10 million in annual revenue pays about $150,000 a
year in tort liability costs. That is money that could be used to
invest and hire new employees. Inefficiency and waste in the legal
system is costing the average American family of four $1,800 every
year, equivalent to an extra 3 percent tax on wages. And the bulk of
jury awards to plaintiffs don't even go to the people who deserve
it. Injured persons on average collect less than 50 cents of every
dollar that the legal system costs. Trial lawyers get rich from the
misfortune of others. If small business is America's economic
engine, trial lawyers are the brakes: They cost hundreds of
thousands of good jobs, drive honest employers out of business,
deprive women of critical medical care - then skip out with fat
wallets and nary a thought for the economic havoc and human misery
they leave in their wake. We praise President Bush and Republicans
in Congress for their efforts to reform the legal system by passing
meaningful class action reform, asbestos reform, and medical
liability reform. And we call to account Senate Democrats and the
powerful trial lawyer lobby, who have shown no shame in utilizing
obstructionist tactics to thwart the efforts of majorities in
Congress to provide meaningful relief to all Americans. The
Republican Party reaffirms its support for meaningful reform of the
legal system, and will continue its fight to guarantee the rights of
all plaintiffs to swift and speedy justice.
- Supporting Teachers
- Every teacher
and every student deserves a safe classroom in which to work and
learn. The No Child Left Behind Act ensures that teachers and other
school professionals can undertake reasonable actions to maintain
order and discipline in the classroom without the fear of
litigation. The law provides civil immunity in any state court and
limits the financial liability of teachers, instructors, principals,
administrators, and other education professionals for actions taken
to maintain discipline, order, or control in the school or
- Medical Liability
medical liability system is harming our medical delivery system.
- Junk lawsuits
add at least $60 billion to health care costs in America because
doctors are forced to practice defensive medicine, ordering
extensive, unnecessary, and expensive tests and procedures to keep
trial lawyers at bay.
- The President
has proposed, and the Republican House of Representatives has
passed, reforms that would speed compensation to injured patients,
reduce health care costs, and improve Americans' access to quality
health care. Shamefully driven by the powerful trial lawyer lobby,
Democrat Senators have repeatedly thwarted the efforts of the
Republican majority to deliver meaningful medical liability reform.
They have employed their obstructionist tactics three times in the
current Congress alone. The Republican Party reaffirms its
commitment to putting patients and doctors ahead of trial lawyers.
We will continue to battle for litigation reforms that help keep
doctors in practice, adopt reasonable caps on non-economic awards in
medical malpractice suits, and ensure that Americans have access to
quality affordable health care.
- Health Information
support President Bush's goal of ensuring that most Americans have
electronic health records within the next 10 years. He has requested
funding for demonstration projects for broader adoption of health IT
systems in communities and states.
- Already, the use
of health IT in the Veterans Administration has shown improvements
in the quality of care and reductions in the cost. The
Administration is working with private sector innovators to develop
reliable, secure methods of storing personal medical information
that will broaden the benefits of health IT. Privacy is paramount,
and participation by patients will be voluntary. These electronic
health records will be designed to share information among and
between health care providers only when authorized by a patient.
- Advances at the
nexus of science and technology raise serious moral and legal
questions. For example, although medical conditions have been linked
to certain genetic markers, there is no certainty that many of these
diseases will actually develop. There is growing concern that
employers and insurance companies will use genetic information to
discriminate by denying jobs or insurance coverage to individuals
who have predictive genetic markers for certain diseases. We support
efforts to enact genetic discrimination legislation that is fair,
reasonable, and consistent with existing laws to prevent
- In addition, we
must take action to allow doctors and hospitals to review best
practices without fear of litigation. By sharing information, health
professionals can determine ways to avoid errors and complications.
These efforts are blocked, however, because good-faith efforts to
improve quality and safety are targets for lawsuits based on new
information that is made public in the review process. We support
the work of the President and Republicans in Congress on legislation
to make it possible for health professionals to work together more
effectively to provide the best possible care for all patients.
- Strengthening Our
Affordable, Accessible Health Care
- And we applaud
efforts by President Bush and the Republican Congress to reform the
broken medical liability system that is raising health care costs
and limiting patients' access to doctors - doctors who are being
driven out of their practices by excessive medical liability costs.
- Modernizing the
Endangered Species Act
- Over the last 30
years, successes under ESA have been limited due to confrontation
and polarization - including an ever-growing barrage of litigation
preventing the Fish and Wildlife Service from protecting new species
and recovering plants and animals already listed as threatened or
endangered. Republicans believe we can achieve greater progress in
protecting species for future generations through results-based
cooperative conservation programs and voluntary agreements that
encourage private stewardship. The ESA must be updated to reflect
new approaches that focus resources on species in need of recovery,
- Protecting Our
Rights, Fighting Criminals, and Supporting Victims
- We applaud
Congressional Republicans for seeking to stop frivolous lawsuits
against firearms manufacturers, which is a transparent attempt to
deprive citizens of their Second Amendment rights.
Republican Tort Reform Values
Lawsuits Benefit Lawyers Not Society
Lawsuits Drive Up Cost of Doing Business, Thus Consumer Prices
- Doctors and
Hospitals Should be Allowed to Review Best Practices without Fear of
- Teachers Should
Not Fear Lawsuits for Maintaining Classroom Discipline
Manufacturers Should be Shielded from Frivolous Lawsuits
Environment Not Frivolous Litigation Stopping Cleanup Efforts
Administrative Policy Initiatives
Republican Sponsored Legislature
Links of Interest
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