Tort law dictates the standard of care a business or individual owes others in various situations, and what obligations they have when causing injury to another. Tort liability functions to provide a measure of justice for a person injured through no fault of his own in the form of money compensation from the responsible person or company.
Tort reform occurs when the legislature passes a law that limits the rights of an injured person to seek fair compensation in a court of law. For instance, the Ohio legislature engaged in tort reform in 2005 when it passed law limiting the amount of compensation an injury victim can obtain. The caps on damages in Ohio are arbitrary and essentially usurp the injury victim’s right to have his case heard and decided by a jury.
Tort reform acts to increase injury rates among Americans. The purpose behind tort law is to hold the wrong-doing party responsible. Tort reform allows for more carelessness and a lack of responsibility on the part of a wrong-doer. In other words, if there are no real consequences, why be careful? For example, the exploding Ford Pintos are no longer manufactured and sold to American consumers. We have tort law and trial lawyers to thank for that, not tort reform.