Spotlight: "Tort Reform" Is Corporate Welfare

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Proposals to limit public access to the civil justice system do not eliminate injuries or the need for compensation.  They merely shift the costs away from the wrongdoer onto something else, like taxpayer-funded health and disability programs. In a 1995 analysis, MIT research consultant Michael Schrage concluded that laws that reduce a wrongdoer’s obligation to pay for injuries they cause amount to a government subsidy, with taxpayers footing the bill.  He explains that a law capping damages “is just as much a financial subsidy as sending a government check for research in molecular beam epitaxy or catalytic converters.  All of us end up paying for both; it’s just that the direct government subsidies are more clearly defined.”  

Source: “Tort Reform?  It’s Government Interference in Marketplace,” Los Angeles Times, March 9, 1995.

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