Letter to the Editor: The most direct way to reduce lawsuits is to reduce malfeasance

Charleston Daily Mail
Thursday, January 6, 2005

The Daily Mail's editorial, "It is high time for tort reforms," on Dec. 17 misdiagnoses the maladies gripping corporate America and organized medicine.
Its argument rests on a series of misleading facts and figures presented at the president's economic summit.
Commerce Secretary Don Evans' claim that the legal system amounts to a "tort tax" on all Americans is patently false, and has been roundly debunked by distinguished actuaries and respected consumer groups.
Moreover, a report issued by the Rand Institute for Civil Justice notes that only 2 percent of American victims go to court seeking compensation for their injuries. This hardly suggests anything resembling an "explosive," litigious society.
An independent judiciary represents the foundation of our democracy. Rather than lashing out at judges and juries who refuse to kowtow to special interests, we should take a stronger stand against corporate criminals and wrongdoers.
The best way to prevent lawsuits is to reduce malfeasance.
James Freedland
New York, N.Y.
Freedland is with the Center for Justice and Democracy.

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