culture, politics, commentary, criticism

Friday, January 24, 2003
McTort Reform. This letter appeared in The Wall Street Journal:
In regard to yesterday's editorial "Left Coast Justice": District Judge Robert Sweet's immediate dismissal of the frivolous lawsuit against McDonald's for selling Big Macs, etc., is an example of how to fix the tort system with several strokes of the pen. The fundamental problem of large recoveries in meritless litigations requires not legislation but a firm commitment to choosing judges who will, at the earliest possible stage, screen out of the system such claims. The fundamental requirements for excellence in judging are evident: intelligence, industriousness and common sense. Cases such as those brought against McDonald's (including the hot coffee case) would never pass the bar of dismissal.

Steven J. Stein
Greenwich, Conn.

Updated January 24, 2003
Emphasis added. The boldfaced sentence above describes the root of the medical malpractice problem (see
this earlier post).

The professional wrangling between greedy lawyers and sarcastic physicians sidesteps the basic objective: proportional judgments in favor of actual victims. Determinations of "proportional" and "actual" should be screened by the courts, not the legislation. Caps, especially ludicrously low ones, are a distraction from the responsibility of judges and juries to make sense of damages and their compensation.

Greatest Hits · Alternatives to First Command Financial Planning · First Command, last resort, Part 3 · Part 2 · Part 1 · Stealing $50K from a widow: Wells Real Estate · Leo Wells, REITs and divine wealth · Sex-crazed Red State teenagers · What I hate: a manifesto · Spawn of Darleen Druyun · All-American high school sex party · Why is Ken Lay smiling? · Poppy's Enron birthday party · The Saudi money laundry and the president's uncle · The sentence of Enron's John Forney · The holiness of Neil Bush's marriage · The Silence of Cheney: a poem · South Park Christians · Capitalist against Bush: Warren Buffett · Fastow childen vs. Enron children · Give your prescription money to your old boss · Neil Bush, hard-working matchmaker · Republicans against fetuses and pregnant women · Emboldened Ken Lay · Faith-based jails · Please die for me so I can skip your funeral · A brief illustrated history of the Republican Party · Nancy Victory · Soldiers become accountants · Beware the Merrill Lynch mob · Darleen Druyun's $5.7 billion surprise · First responder funding · Hoovering the country · First Command fifty percent load · Ken Lay and the Atkins diet · Halliburton WMD · Leave no CEO behind · August in Crawford · Elaine Pagels · Profitable slave labor at Halliburton · Tom Hanks + Mujahideen · Sharon & Neilsie Bush · One weekend a month, or eternity · Is the US pumping Iraqi oil to Kuwait? · Cheney's war · Seth Glickenhaus: Capitalist against Bush · Martha's blow job · Mark Belnick: Tyco Catholic nut · Cheney's deferred Halliburton compensation · Jeb sucks sugar cane · Poindexter & LifeLog · American Family Association panic · Riley Bechtel and the crony economy · The Book of Sharon (Bush) · The Art of Enron · Plunder convention · Waiting in Kuwait: Jay Garner · What's an Army private worth? · Barbara Bodine, Queen of Baghdad · Sneaky bastards at Halliburton · Golf course and barbecue military strategy · Enron at large · Recent astroturf · Cracker Chic 2 · No business like war business · Big Brother · Martha Stewart vs. Thomas White · Roger Kimball, disappointed Republican poetry fan · Cheney, Lay, Afghanistan · Terry Lynn Barton, crimes of burning · Feasting at the Cheney trough · Who would Jesus indict? · Return of the Carlyle Group · Duct tape is for little people · GOP and bad medicine · Sears Tower vs Mt Rushmore · Scared Christians · Crooked playing field · John O'Neill: The man who knew · Back to the top

. . .