New York Personal Injury Law Blog » tort reform


September 10th, 2008

Tort "Reform" at the Volokh Conspiracy (What Are They Thinking?)

A small kerfuffle occurred over at the Volokh Conspiracy when contributor Paul Cassell fell for a hoax he was emailed about the “Stella Awards.” It was previously debunked nonsense dealing with fictional lawsuits and trying to use these phony anecdotes to argue for tort “reform.”

While the error was quickly corrected, it also raises a different point: If folks at the Volokh Conspiracy are concerned about tort “reform,” why don’t they cover it? This would be perfect material, because the libertarian-conservative minded writers most likely, if they thought about the issue, would disagree with the entire concept of government protectionism for groups of people that are negligent. Yet the ideas for this protectionism always seem to come from the political right.

This fundamental hypocrisy — conservatives that harp on ways to protect wrongdoers from their own misconduct — is something I have written on before. Any true conservative, I think, would be appalled at government efforts to grant arbitrary caps and protections to those that negligently cause injury. The theory conflicts not only with the issue of additional government intervention, but with the concept of personal responsibility for one’s conduct.

Previously at my site:

And at Overlawyered: Winnebago/Stella Award myths, pt. 4 (with yet more links)

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