Justice for the injured; An interview with Joanne Doroshow

Multinational Monitor
Saturday, March 1, 2003

Multinational Monitor: What is the tort system?

Joanne Doroshow: The tort system is the aspect of our legal system that allows people who are injured to sue the wrongdoer who caused their injury. It allows them to get compensation and to hold the wrongdoer accountable for causing injuries.

MM: Why is it important?

Doroshow: The tort system is one of the most important ways that people who are wrongly injured can get some kind of monetary compensation. If they’ve been injured and have disabilities, they can get money to help them through their life.

It is also important because it provides a means to deter future misconduct. It is the prospect of financial liability that will deter a corporation or other institution or wrongdoer from future wrongdoing. It gives them the financial incentive to clean up their act. We all benefit as a result.

It is also a means to force corporations and others to disclose information that they may have been concealing about unsafe practices or other kinds of criminal activity or misconduct.

Lastly, it sets the rules for relationships between people; it establishes what is right and what is wrong.

MM: What are examples of how those benefits are obtained in society?

Doroshow: There are many instances where lawsuits led directly to safety improvement or unsafe products being taken off the market. 
The Ford Pinto had a gas tank that exploded on impact.
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