Recently I read another article from an apparent lobbyist for the insurance industry making a strong stand against “lawsuit abuses.” Well I again don’t want to post a link to his article because I don’t want to generate activity to that misinformation but I will once again paste my comment to his post:
You think you could be a little more dramatic. I mean, “lawyers fighting to keep courts havens for frivolous lawsuits?” Have you ever been in a courtroom? Do you just assume judges and juries just throw out money on any case and lawyers are so bright that they just con the system into bringing them millions? Man if it were that easy, I think there’d be a whole lot more millionaires in the world… Unfortunately, your facts like your dramatizations are way off.
First of all, the repeal of Joint and Several liability was codified way more than one year ago. It was first addressed by the Florida Legislature in the Tort Reform and Insurance Act of 1986, where Joint and Several Liability, the doctrine which holds one defendant responsible for all damages was repealed for any non-economic losses, i.e. pain and suffering, which typically is the bulk of the damages of any serious injury case. That legislation kept joint and several only for defendants whose percentage of fault exceeds that of the plaintiff and only for economic damages up to $25,000. These facts are a far cry from stating the “old rule allowed anyone who was even minimally responsible to be forced to pay the majority of damages.”
And if your broad misstatements and mischaracterization of joint and several liability weren’t bad enough, you completely butchered what Fabre was all about. Fabre actually requires plaintiff attorneys to sue any and everyone a defendant names as a possible person at fault or scapegoat, which then actually tends to drag non responsible parties in to court that shouldn’t even be there.
Then you cite HB 733 and SB 1558 as creating a system where “personal-injury lawyers would be able to target the deepest pocket regardless of percentage of fault, letting those truly responsible walk away while others were forced to pay for their negligence.” Do you not know how lawsuits work? If other people are responsible, your beloved insurance company or any other defendant can bring them in to court, whether Fabre exists or not! People who are responsible pay their share. The house and senate bills above only make it so that non-parties cannot be listed on the jury verdict form. If people are not in court then damages can’t be collected against them or apportioned against them. AND IF THERE ARE OTHER PEOPLE TRULY AT FAULT, DON’T YOU THINK THE PEOPLE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR A PERSON INJURIES WOULD WANT TO BRING THOSE RESPONSIBLE IN TO COURT? WELL THEY CAN! IT’S CALLED A THIRD PARTY COMPLAINT. AND WHETHER FABRE EXISTS OR NOT, THAT IS AND WAS AND STILL WILL BE THE LAW!
You clearly have no idea how a courtroom works in either respect. It is clear you are some kind of lobbying wing of the insurance industry trying to spin propaganda so your beloved companies can make even more money then they already do. Well America has caught on! The gig is up! Those beloved insurance companies who claim to represent our best interest, be like a good neighbor or any other catchy empty slogan, collect our premiums gladly but as soon as it’s time to pay they deny and delay. Anyone of us who has had a hurricane insurance claim in Florida now knows all to well how insurance companies really operate. And where did all those premiums go when it was time to pay for Katrina victims? I know… into some of the largest corporate salaries and perks in the world.
Trial lawyers aren’t perfect and yes, some lawsuits are unfair and frivolous but there are many mechanisms to police corrupt attorneys and throw out frivolous suits. There are many other people involved in deciding the value of a case, plaintiffs attorneys don’t have the power to decide outcome, judge and juries do. In the end most frivolous lawsuits get dismissed and lawyers bringing them get sanctioned. Judges and juries are able to see right through a case that has no merit. It’s not rocket science.
If only the judges and juries could police the greed and corruption of our insurance companies who claim to be looking out for our best interests, but instead take our money, don’t pay when we are do and all the while point the finger at others for being that which they really are, greedy and corrupt..