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GA Tort Reform has bizarre consequenes

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Charlie Brown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 05:34 PM
Original message
GA Tort Reform has bizarre consequenes
Edited on Sat Mar-04-06 05:34 PM by Charlie Brown
Apparently, victims may have to pay the legal fees of defendants EVEN IF THEY WIN THE CASE.

http://www.ajc.com/news/content/metro/stories/0305metle...

Four years ago, she was a high school senior in Gwinnett who passed out at a party. As she lay unconscious, other teenagers at the house in Duluth stripped her naked, assaulted her and wrote obscenities on her legs and buttocks. Three teens have been punished for their crimes and now the young woman has sued them.

But in a truly bizarre case of unintended consequences, the victim may have to pay hefty legal fees for two of the culprits even if she wins the lawsuit. The prospect is due to the tort reform law passed last year by the General Assembly. Intended primarily to protect doctors and hospitals facing medical malpractice litigation, it also gave greater protections to defendants in a broad array of lawsuits.

Gwinnett police promptly arrested three teenagers who are now defendants in the Gwinnett lawsuit: Parker Ignotz, who hosted the party and pleaded guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a minor; Emily Cate, who pleaded guilty to two counts of simple battery; and Grace Cassandra Shipp, who was sentenced to prison time for aggravated assault and simple battery.

But one provision of the Tort Reform Act of 2005 says that even if the victim wins at trial, she can be forced to pay Ignotz's and Cate's attorneys' fees if the jury does not award damages that are at least 25 percent more than the offers.

"It goes to show you can't have a one-size-fits-all rule," said Sullivan, an Atlanta attorney. It also forces plaintiffs with limited resources to decide if they want to go to trial in cases against deep-pocketed insurance companies and businesses, he said.

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burythehatchet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 05:36 PM
Response to Original message
1. So?
At least doctors can get lower insurance premiums. :sarcasm:
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DiverDave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 06:03 PM
Response to Original message
2. "Unintended consequences"
Nope, not true, they INTENDED this all along.
Another step in the corporate takeover of our country.
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Nikki Stone 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I tend to agree with you here. It's about discouraging all lawsuits
by middle class individuals
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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. "Reform" = destruction, as in all Bushspeak utterances. nt
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rusty_parts2001 Donating Member (728 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. The same deal was hatched and passed in Texas
Plaintiffs have to pay attorney's fees and costs incurred by Defendants even if they win their suit if they reject a settlement and don't do better at trial. This is another Rove gimmick that crucifies the middle class and poor who have a hard time as it is finding attorneys to take these cases on a contingency fee basis. A gift to corporate America and the insurance companies, as usual.
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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. "National Laboratory for Bad Gov't", indeed.
Molly Ivins tried to warn the country, but the country wasn't listening.
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