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Brooks Schuelke
Brooks Schuelke
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Tort Reform Is Discriminatory

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A new, scholarly study from two law and economics professors at Emory University finds that tort reform discriminates against women, children and the elderly:

The results from our empirical analysis are consistent with our theoretical predictions. We find that the impact of tort reform varies substantially among demographic groups. When we consider the net effect of all the reforms in our study together, our results suggest that women, children, and the elderly do not enjoy tort reform’s benefits as much as men and middle-aged people. In fact, they might even be harmed by reform.

This is the same argument that we were making when Proposition 12 and Texas’s medical malpractice caps were being debated. The new law didn’t cap lost wages. Thus, if a high wage earner was killed or injured by medical malpractice, those claims are still usually economically viable. But those that don’t earn any wages, primarily children, the elderly and some women, have a very difficult time finding attorneys to represent them — even if they were victims of the same malpractice as the wage earning males.