Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hot coffee

On another front, Hot Coffee, a short film produced by Susan Saladoff, was screened at the Sundance Film Festival and was picked up by HBO in an exclusive 2 year deal.
You can read about it at http://www.deadline.com/tag/hot-coffee-hbo/

The movie is a documentary which focuses on how corporations have used the memory of outlandish legal verdicts as a way to press for tort reforms and avoid jury trials through arbitration on cases that actually have merit.

Take a look at the links and pass them on.

As an example

The new legislation creates special rules for special people. Get a load of this. The new special rules exempt doctors from criminal liability if they harm another by the negligent operation or handling of a dangerous weapon, explosives or fire as long as he/she is acting within the scope of his or her practice or employment. So now a doctor can escape accountability if they negligently blow up a patient or set one on fire. Nice.

In addition, a health care provider acting in the scope of his or her practice or employment who commits an act or omission of mere inefficiency, unsatisfactory conduct, or failure in good performance as the result of inability, incapacity, inadvertency, ordinary negligence, or good faith error in judgment or discretion, is immune from criminal liability. Incapacity, like being drunk or on drugs? That makes me feel real safe.

Destruction of Wisconsin's Tort Law

Well, it's here. Our new Republican legislature has passed sweeping changes in our tort system under the illusion that it is a job creation bill. I'm not the smartest person in the world, but how does a limitation on damages in nursing home cases, Daubert, limitations on products cases, hiding state surveys and investigations and limiting people's access to a jury trial create jobs? It doesn't. But here we are, Texas north, with more destruction on the way.

I'm tired of the attacks on what we do, and I'm tired of the attacks on people who are hurt due to the neglect of others. Every act of negligence is due to someone breaking a safety rule, yet certain segments of our society believe that wrongdoers need special protection under the guise of stopping frivolous lawsuits. No one, even lawyers, like frivolous lawsuits. However, these deforms will limit access and justice to those who have meritorious claims and are deserving of getting justice.