• A conservative attack on tort reform as a “red herring” Thursday, September 24, 2009

    An essay by Ken Connor that has appeared on a number of conservative blogs contains some strong language you don’t normally hear from Republicans:

    For years, Big Business and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have spent millions of dollars in a public relations campaign aimed at demonizing trial lawyers, portraying them as unethical con-artists out to game the system.  These corporate interests have a vested interest in keeping the tide of public opinion running against trial lawyers because it deflects attention from the widespread problem of negligent and reckless conduct that injures consumers.  This “shoot the messenger” tactic not only enables businesses to avoid financial accountability for wrongdoing—it deliberately undermines the people’s civil liberty.

    In “Tort Reform: Remedy or Red Herring,” Connor says tort reform “will do nothing to cut medical costs.”  He goes on to debunk the theory that hyperactive plaintiffs’ attorneys and out-of-control juries have created an insurance crisis for physicians…

    Skyrocketing insurance premiums are not a result of malpractice litigation, and the high cost of medical care stems more from “offensive medicine” (profiteering by doctors seeking to make an extra buck), rather than “defensive medicine” purportedly resulting from fears of malpractice suits.

    Connor is a former candidate for the Republican nomination for governor of Florida and one-time president of the Family Research Council, whose motto is “Defending Faith, Family and Freedom.”  He now serves as chairman of Center for a Just Society, which describes its mission as “to advance and defend Judeo-Christian principles of human dignity and social justice in law, policy and the public square.”

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