This past Wednesday Hospital, business and insurance representatives attended a committee hearing to argue in favor of their anti-fairness and anti-tort propaganda. The debate over personal injury causes of action is heating up once again. The truth is these entities are “for-profit” and they only make money by collecting premiums and paying as little on claims as possible if anything.
This time even a Republican congressman, Mitch Needelman of Melbourne, is on our side. He’s looking to pass a law that would not allow defendants to try to pass the blame and a share of the liability on to a person who isn’t even present in court. Under the current law, a defendant can just raise an inference that someone else was at fault and request that that missing person also be added to the jury verdict form so that a portion of the damages be awarded against that person yet since they are not a party, a plaintiff has no right to collect. This “empty chair” tactic has only made it so that lawyers have to sue everyone. If a defendant is serious about someone else being at fault they can bring them into court via a 3rd party indemnity claim, instead of just raising inferences under the current law, which only hurts our system and requires Plaintiff’s to have to sue everyone even remotely involved.