Although this is not a workers compensation issue, it is an important concern.  Workers compensation has arbitrary limits on benefits. The tradeoff is that injured workers don’t have to prove negligence. In liability cases, caps and other limits prevent injured victims from being adequately compensated.  Moreover, there is no benefit gained by the general public, and in fact the taxpayers are hurt since they end up paying for the care of injured people. Oregon has caps.  They were determined unconstitutional in the late 90’s.  No crisis occurred and then our Court overturned that precedent, and caps have been reinstated.  Another run will be made in the legislature after failing last session.  Let’s hope we are successful.


Ohio’s Major “Tort Reform” Misfire

The Pop
September 12, 2017

Sometimes teachable moments happen at the very worst times and only with terrible costs. When it comes to Ohio’s draconian limits on legal rights, we are clearly at one of those moments and can only hope Ohio’s lawmakers take notice.

Back in the mid-1980s, at the behest of the insurance industry and other corporate special interests, Ohio enacted a boatload of anti-consumer “tort reform” measures that severely limited victims’ rights in that state. In 1999, Ohio’s Supreme Court struck down most of them as unconstitutional. Without missing a beat, a coalition of out-of-state corporate interests came into the state, dumped money there to influence the judicial elections, and eventually ousted the pro-consumer Supreme Court judges who struck down these laws. Then, in 2004/2005, the legislature re-passed many of the unconstitutional laws – but the newly-bought corporate court has upheld them ever since.

One of those provisions was a “cap,” or limit, on compensation to victims who suffer non-economic injuries. Ohio’s cap means that child rapists are off the hook for the harm they cause their victims.

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