Sunday, January 07, 2007

Wanna get rich quick? Sue someone with deep pockets!

'Slip-and-fall' awards, jury trials tumble ; Settlements among reasons for decline

We've always been disgusted at the attorneys' ads on television, urging anyone injured in a car wreck or in nearly any other circumstance to sue. Our disgust was heightened at the spate of lawsuits that have been filed in the wake of the Comair crash in Lexington last year, and especially after bloodthirsty and greedy lawyers started reaching out to potential clients before many of the bodies were even buried.

On first glance, the fact that the number of jury awards in "slip and fall" trials has dropped is a good thing. But when you read the subhead, and dig into the meat of the story, you see that settlements have increased.

No matter whether a payment comes as the result of a jury trial or a settlement, you and we pay the costs for this through higher insurance premiums and through higher retail prices.

We know that we could slip and fall on a wet bathroom floor just as easily as we could in the soda pop aisle at Wal-Mart. Both would be equally accidental. Why, then, should one accident be worth a lot more money than the other?

We need tort reform in this state and nation, and we need it now!


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