Here is a nice article that defends the current tort system. It concisely articulates what many us believe in but have difficulty putting into words.
Here is an excerpt:
The tort system provides for just compensation from wrongdoers and relieves the rest of society of unfair burdens. Fundamental fairness dictates that one who suffers a loss at the hands of a wrongdoer be compensated for the wrong he has suffered. If our system of justice fails to provide just compensation, the victim, or his family, will be inclined to seek personal revenge or retribution. This promotes a spirit of vigilantism and contributes further to the breakdown of social order. Additionally, if the wrongdoer is not required to bear the loss occasioned by his wrongdoing (i.e. medical bills, lost wages, etc.) those losses will have to be borne by the rest of society. When society has to pick up the tab for the losses caused by a wrongdoer, the result is the involuntary redistribution of wealth among persons who are innocent of any wrongdoing. This is just another form of “welfare” which rewards irresponsible behavior and punishes innocent parties.