So, next time someone is being shot in a murder, you don't sue the murderer or the assasin, but rather sue the manufacturer of the weapon ... !
Some may think of this as a joke, but it is actually being done. Some of the people who are doing it have said proudly that the political process has not given them what they want - a ban on handguns. So they want to achieve it through the courts. They want to make it prohibitavly expensive for any legitimate company to manufacture guns.
This is not an idle threat. For decades, the legal system had shut down the general aviation manufacturing industry in the United States - it is only now starting to recover.
As to the PREPONDERANCE OF
THE EVIDENCE standard, many times lawyers mention this as though it were like the law of gravity. It is not. It is a human law and human laws can be changed. Personally, I think that if someone wants to bankrupt a company and put thousands out of work, he should have to meet higher standard of proof.
Perhaps the PREPONDERANCE OF
THE EVIDENCE standard is a good idea for cases involiving less then say 100,000. It allows for an easier and more just process. But allowing people to threaten larger verdicts on the basis of a mere "PREPONDERANCE OF
THE EVIDENCE" seems to me to be insane.
If you want a million dollar plus verdict, or a verdict that involves greater than actual damages + attorney's fees - you should have to prove your case BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT.This will do a great deal to deter legal extortion.
Perhaps this is not the right reform. Perhaps there are better ideas out there. However, the deep pockets are OURS and it is time that the system changed.
and BTW, have ya ever considered the implications of an out-of-control legal system to the high cost of healthcare? If the costs of healthcare went down, the availability of it would go up. Make no mistake about it, the legal system is the main if not the only reason even basic healthcare is so expensive today. Perhaps a medical malpractice system similar to the workers compensation system would work. This would probably allow more people to be compensated for medical malpractice than now, and make the system more predictable. Less good money would be sucked down by the lawyers. The trial lawyers and their lobbyists have been beaten before. Our current president did a great deal to mitigate the situation in Texas. It can be done. Just make sure to keep informed. Vote. And do not let the politicians (especially Democrat politicians) fool you as to who the real villians are. It isn't the Doctors, or the HMO
's. It is the government. The legal system, together with very poorly managed government programs - is the root cause of the health care crises. "Solutions" that do not face up to this fact will make things worse.
change. In some areas they HAVE. The lawyers would have you believe that the legal system's basic form is somehow immutable. It is not. We could junk the whole adversary system and go with something more moderate and reasonable if we wanted to. We could have a system where the goal finding the truth and protecting rights would be ballanced. Where statutory law has far more importance the precedent. Where there are limits on the power and authority of the legal system similar to the limits placed on other branches of government. Where everyone would have an advocate, but that advocate would not deliberatly hide or obfuscate the truth on behalf of his client. It would not violate the constitution. Henry Clay once spent a couple days trying to convince the Kentucky legislature not to repeal the Common Law. He probably did a service to Kentucky - as such an action could have had calamitous effects. But, provided we have a suitible replacement, a phasing out of the common law system may be just what we need today. Make no mistake about it, it can be done. Perhaps it even should be done. Even the mere threat of doing so could cause the trial lawyers lobby to get a bit more reasonable.