The Tort Reform Movement – Naked

I read Andrew Cohen’s article in the Atlantic (Tort Reform is Anti-Democratic (And Ingeniously Marketed)) and thought I would summarize it for your convenience.  Then I discovered that Philip Thomas had already done so, and quickly determined that he did a better job than I would have done.

Here is an excerpt of Philip’s post on his blog, MS Litigation Review:

In order to sell tort reform, corporate America applies a bait and switch commonly referred to as a “straw man” argument. Barry and Soccio define the straw man attack as follows in their book Practical Logic 104:

The straw man fallacy is an argument that so alters a position that the result is easier to attack than the original and yet claims that it has provided grounds for attacking the original.

Corporate America claims that tort reform is the solution for frivolous lawsuits. But "frivolous lawsuits" is their straw man. They use frivolous lawsuits as their straw man because what they really desire is their offered solution: damages caps that reduce their liability for wrongdoing.