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What good is a right if you cannot exercise it?    That is not one of those, if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound questions.  Our Constitutional rights are under assault from various sources.  Those who want to attack our rights have learned they can never get those rights repealed, so instead they simply try to make it impossible for those rights to be exercised.

 

What is the latest right that is under assault?

 

The left came up with an idea a while back.  They realized they could never repeal the 2nd Amendment or impose gun control laws, so they came up with alternative strategies such as trying to force gun manufacturers out of business or trying to tax ammunition to the point where no one could afford to have a gun.

 

Now, there is another assault on our Constitutional rights.  This one is on our 7th Amendment right to a civil jury trial.

 

Mitt Romney in his economic plan says he wants to impose Federal Tort Reform through out the nation.  Ignoring the fact that is a gross violation of the 10th Amendment, since the regulation of lawyers and tort law has always been reserved for the states, let’s ask a more obvious question.

 

Where that has been tried, how is that working out?

 

It has been tried in Texas and the answer is, it is creating a hollow liberty.  It does not eliminate a right but little way for the average citizen to exercise that right. 

 

Many statists claim tort reform in Texas has been a huge success. 

 

Unfortunately, as with so many things, they make the claim but there is no evidence to back that claim. 

 

There is evidence to the contrary, that Texans are losing their 7th Amendment rights because they can’t get lawyers to take cases anymore.

 

What happened to Charles Caldwell is a terrible example of what has gone wrong.  Caldwell suffered from Parkinson’s disease and went to a nursing home after surgery to recover.  Among other things, a feeding tube was placed in his stomach because he could no longer swallow. 

 

His son and daughter in law Bill and Kelly Putnam were visiting his father when the nurses at Signature Pointe Nursing home tried to give medications to Caldwell through his feeding tube.  When the medicine did not go down the right way, the nurses tried the old fashioned method of “if it doesn’t go, force it.”  After three tries it did not go.  Finally Caldwell began to struggle and thrash.    The medicine had gone into his lungs instead of going into his stomach.   Caldwell drowned on medicine in front of his family.

 

When Putnam decided he was going to sue over his father’s death, he found the hard truth about Tort Reform.   No lawyer would take the case.  It was not that it was not a strong case.  It was a strong case.   Simply put, because of Tort Reform lawyers can no longer take those types of cases because they are no longer economically viable for the lawyers.

 

In plain non-lawyer English, these type cases now cost more to pursue than an attorney can make off it.

 

Some people are immediately outraged at the idea that lawyers are making money off of cases like this. 

 

Why?

 

One of the first rules of economics is that we all operate in our enlightened self-interest.  We wall all act for what we perceive as personal gain.  

 

Doctors do the same thing.  Most doctors become doctors because it remains the highest paid occupation in the United States.

 

By imposing caps on so-called “non-economic” damages, lawyers can no longer take these types of cases.   Lawyers have staffs they have to pay.  They have expenses such as the costs of their offices.  Plus in cases such as these, the lawyer will advance the costs for expenses such as the required experts who must review cases before a suit is filed.

 

Without a lawyer, the 7th Amendment Right to a jury trial is effectively gone. 

 

The right to a jury trial is arguably the right our founding fathers thought was the most important. 

 

Why?

 

Because our founding fathers decide to included it in not one but two amendments to the Bill of Rights.  The 7th Amendment, the right to a civil jury trial, was the only amendment to the Constitution that was approved unanimously by our founding fathers at the Constitutional Convention in 1787.

 

Recently in Texas, a horrible story came to light.  A doctor, Ricardo Rocha, how had previously had his medical license suspended, was accused of “butchering” a patient..  He decided to perform a hernia surgery on a man in his office, without an anesthesiologist present.    

 

In this “operation,” the doctor instead of repairing the hernia, the doctor severed the patient’s colon.   It caused the patient extreme pain, spilled fecal matter into his body, cause the loss of a testicle and required emergency surgery to save the man’s life. 

 

Here is the question for each of you.   If you go through something like that, what is your pain and suffering worth?  In Texas, those kind of non-economic damages are limited to $250,000.  

 

If that happened to you, is it worth $250,000?

 

The myth of tort reform is that it will reduce costs and will attract doctors to the profession.  Unfortunately as with all myths, that one is untrue.    Healthcare costs in Texas have not been reduced, nor are doctors flocking to Texas.

 

What has happened is that another right has been lost.  Freedom is reduced and liberty has taken another step towards becoming simply a hollow shell. 

 

Tags: home, litigation, mitt, nursing, reform, romney, statist, texas, tort

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What is going on here? I know that they no longer teach the Constitution in Schools but 99.9% of these politicians are old enough to have been taught this in high school and Mitt is one of them. He is in Politics and that means he needs to have a better understanding of how this Nation works...right? I guess I am wrong here. None of them, I am sure even know that it is around. It took the Tea Party to talking about it to remind people that it is there, and now the liberals pretend that they are experts in Constittional law. YET...none of them are using it. Do we need to sit Romney down and FORCE him to read it? Newt never would have done this BTW, and I am still convinced that the GOP cheated to make him the runner. I have NOT yet met a Mitt liker to be honest. I have over 3000 friends on facebook and none of them or their friends like Mitt. They all like either Newt (Most commen) or Ron Paul (Yelk) NO ONE LIKES MITT...so how did he get in? And why does he refuse to even TRY to act like a Conservative? We are going to be busy with him in office. Obama doesn't stand a chance this time, I am convinced of that. :) So we have to really focus on fixing Romney and getting Congress BACK! No liberals or RINO's in Congress!!

I don't understand why people would get mad that a Lawyer would want to make money off a case? Makes sence to me...it's a business...DUH! ;) The Lawyer we had against my husbands Ex-wife (Greedy pig lady lol) not only won us the case but gave us the rest of the money back and when we told him he needs to send her one more letter for us, he refused to charge us for us. My Husband and I argued with him about it, we told him that NO comapany does things for free and it wouldn't be right for us not to pay under this Great Obama Depression. He laughed and told us that due to that kind of explination of Obama...there was no way that he could charge us...we lost hands down...he sent us our check back lol. So my point here is that with this thing that Romney wants to impliment is saying that he doesn't want a business to make money. Uhhh yeah Mitt, how would you like that to happen to YOU???!!!

You make a good case, Judson, but when you do so it is a lawyer talking.  Wait, who knows more about these kinds of issues than a lawyer?  Ok, I bought into the "blame the lawyers for the high cost of medicine" line years ago.  It has taken your perspective to get me to see through the spacious arguments presented without proof.  Keep it up!  The case study in Texas is the type of experiment we need to present when talking about the States as laboratories for innovation.  Not all, and maybe few experiments on the State level will succeed so this is but one reason why national "reforms" should be avoided.

There are some cases Lawyers should not take and that has resulted in the need for states to police Lawyers. The advertisement industry I'm sure would like to have lawyers chasing ambulances and posting the high stakes for awards and punishments hourly but the reality is that we the average Joe end up paying for these rediculous judgements for shams by fraudulant claims and helped out by immoral Lawyers. It's become a free for all and they even jump on a bus after an accident and swear they were injured in the fender bender. I know there are some decent Lawyers in this world and I consider you to be one of them but if History says anything it says that frivalous lawsuits are out of control and something has to be done to help keep the cost to the average Joe like me down. The cost to Companies is always passed on to we the purchaser and it sucks.

I know Mitt is the only alternative to gettnig rid of Obama, but the more we find out about this guy, the worse he sounds.

It would seem the Constitution has proven to be our benchmark, once again . . . 

States are laboratories to test ideas and economic principles . . . . Texas is doing just that.

Mitt cannot pass national Tort Reform . . . . unless Justice Roberts has another seizure of rationality.

You know he will.

Proper Tort reform is good if it is on a individual basis.  If there is a problem it is easier to adjust and make required changesr repeal.  If it is on a statewide basis it's a cold day in hell to make any adjustment.  The 10th amendment shold be the rule.

I agree. 

This is a free market issue, as well as a states' rights issue.

If Texas wants to diminish the rights of its own citizens, they have a constitutionally limited right to their manner of tort reform.

Who knows?  Their argument that it will bring in more doctors may be true.  At the same time, I might start to question the abilities of doctors who prefer to practice under these conditions.  In any case, the comments regarding laboratories of democracy are spot on.

Federal tort reform is unconstitutional. State tort reform has become necessary in our society of increasing immorality, lack of personal responsibility, bleeding heart liberal juries and judges, and 'anything goes' lawyers who most (not all) wouldn't know the constitution if it knocked them upside the head.

Only one side of the reform argument was presented. I am sure others can post just as many stories of how frivolous lawsuits or jury awards have ruined a medical practice and the many jobs that go along with it. Not to mention the skyrocketing malpractice insurance premiums which is a major cause of out of control health insurance premiums everyone is hit with.

Tort reform is inevitable. And like most new laws will need to be adjusted as consequences dictate.

I believe when there is negligence from any professional then they should have to pay for that wrong. However, I do not believe that a person should recieve millions of dollars; especially when most of us would not earn that much in a lifetime. It seems that a lawyer looks only at the dollar sign. When we become greedy, then we lose. Isn't that what happened in Texas?

Justin, 

In your campaign against Mitt Romney you are generating a travesty for the cause of liberty.  First, your animus is leading you to make unsupported statements of fact.  You claim without giving a source that doctors are not "flocking" to Texas since tort reform was instated.  This study claims a 17% increase in the number of physicians since the tort reform.  http://www.facs.org/surgerynews/update/2012/texas-tort-reform0612.html

I will grant that some of what you say is true.  Here in Texas, our legal rights have indeed been truncated.  However, the same process might be seen as an encouragement for patients or their families to take a more active part in health care decisions.  Know your physician!  Also, much of the problem with medical costs results from federal regulations intermingling with state laws.  Long before Obamacare, our state laws had to be crafted in consideration of the federal guidelines derived more from judicial misinterpretation of Constitutional rights than from the specious wisdom of state representatives.  Government is always a source of injustice.  Local government is more responsive to citizen needs and convictions by far than government in DC or the state capital.

If states are laboratories of democracy (a century old Progressive claim) then states are bound to make mistakes.  Massachusetts certainly made many of them.  Still to campaign against the only politician with a reasonable chance of unseating the present illegitimate leadership of America is foolish and dangerous.  Yes Mitt has done things as governor that I oppose.  But he did them within the political climate of Ted Kennedy's and Barney Frank's home state.  Why would anyone be naive enough to think that an openly conservative governor could be elected to such a place?  Still, his very malleability is encouraging in that he is subject to the kind of political pressure that a united conservative voice might place on him.  Instead of campaigning against Romney, campaign for him and at the same time campaign for reducing the size of government.  Point out unworkable plans, but consider that they might have replaced something that voters identified as being in need of reform.  We seldom get things right the first try but we must work to perfect our system.  Obama wants to destroy the system.  Romney can be persuaded to undo some of the harm that has been done.

In this piece you state:   "What good is a right if you cannot exercise it?"

In reference to the 2nd amendment, many would rewrite your question as:  "What good is right if you are unwilling to exercise it?"

One suspects the left no longer really worries about the 2nd Amendment, as they know no one is willing to exercise that right.

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