Tort reform emerges in ideas to address CAT fund's woes

Legal Intelligencer
Wednesday, May 30, 2001

[The Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association] has taken a stand on tort reform, which is part of the proposal from two groups trying to get rid of the CAT Fund.

Timothy A. Shollenberger, the president of PaTLA and a partner at Shollenberger & Januzzi in Harrisburg, said the concept of tort reform has in many cases gotten credit from the medical community that it doesn't deserve.

"Tort reform does not decrease malpractice premiums either," Shollenberger said. He cited a study by the Citizens For Corporate Accountability and Individual Rights [now the Center for Justice & Democracy].

The group looked at malpractice premiums in all 50 states from 1985 to 1988. The study concluded there is no discernible relationship between the tort law of a state and the rate of increase or decrease in malpractice premiums.

"There are states with tort reform measures whose premiums have gone up and those with none that have gone down," he said. "In Ohio, several tort reform measures were enacted during the period of the study that Pennsylvania did not enact. But Pennsylvania ranked higher than Ohio in its rate of premium increase." Ohio ranked 43rd and Pennsylvania ranked 39th.

For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D.

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