Tort lawsuits over civil wrongs are on decline? Not for long

From 538 Significant Digits:

2 in 1,000

A new analysis finds that tort lawsuits — the ones over civil wrongs that cause someone loss or harm, such as suits over medical malpractice and car accidents — are on the decline, with less than two out of every 1,000 Americans filing one in 2015, down from 10 in 1,000 Americans in 1993. [The Wall Street Journal]

Because the WSJ’s firewall is fierce, I can’t read the whole story, but under its headline, it notes, “State restrictions, increasing cost and a long campaign by businesses has discouraged plaintiffs.”

State restrictions? Yeah, right–in states like Wisconsin, states the Koch Bros own.

So businesses (who don’t like being sued for causing harm to people and pay law firms and lobbyists $billions to push against them) have contributed to the reduction.

But my bet is: after the Horror’s demolition of government regulations which protect us from the harm businesses can cause–and, in restricting businesses from doing things that cause us harm, in effect protect compliant businesses themselves from lawsuits–tort lawsuits against businesses for causing harm will again rise. Fast.

What do you think will happen if the EPA does manage to eliminate regulations against businesses polluting streams? Once people who drink that water–see Flint, Michigan–find that their children have been poisoned, what do you think they’ll do?

That’s how we people got government regulations in the first place: by demanding them and following up those demands with tort lawsuits.



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