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Passions in Poetry

Pain and Suffering

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Denise
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50 posted 03-04-2003 10:50 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I think many of the horror stories that we hear about, as has happened to Maureen (I'm sorry  you had to go through all that, Maureen, I'd have lost it for sure), could be eliminated if the people filing the law suits had to pay up-front for their lawyer and all of this "only pay me if you win" nonsense were done away with.

I think too many opportunists with an eye for easy money chomp at the bit, spurred on by equally greedy litigation lawyers. The problem escalates beyond reality when you throw in equally unreasonable and greedy insurance companies and/or big business.

I think all personal injury lawsuits should be handled either by a panel of judges, as Balladeer suggested, or through arbitration. And the person who brought the suit should definitely have to pay for their lawyer's services, win or lose, and should have to pay for court costs too if they lose. I think this would cut down on the volume of frivolous lawsuits if there were an associated cost, or the risk of cost. Then discussion about caps would, for the most part I think, become irrelevant.

As for Tupperware, there is no better product on the market! And now in this computer age you can shop, with no fear of personal liability lawsuits from whacky neighbors, from the safety of your own computer!

Check out the great Spring Specials going on now at my site!
http://my.tupperware.com/DeniseSnyder

[This message has been edited by Denise (03-04-2003 10:51 PM).]

Local Rebel
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51 posted 03-04-2003 11:17 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

No time for an appropriate response so I'll just encourage everyone to keep up the spirited discussion.  I'm reading!

Thanks everyone
nakdthoughts
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since 10-29-2000
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Between the Lines


52 posted 03-05-2003 06:42 AM       View Profile for nakdthoughts   Email nakdthoughts   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for nakdthoughts

Denise, you are funny, another laugh to start this day...I owned almost every piece of tupperware that was created back then. I have nothing against it..only those parties where you become liable for anyone on your property.

Thanks for the link, I will check it out.

~smiling
M  (Poor tupperware..I didn't mean to give it a bad wrap or is that rap...one of those cliches I rarely use)
Local Rebel
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53 posted 03-05-2003 01:01 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Parody
quote:

Paulie: "Did one of your loved ones meet an untimely demise at the hands of a greedy negligent corporation?"

Ralphie: "Did you go to the doctor for a new pair of boobs but woke up with a set of cajones?"

Paulie: "Did you break your leg but you're too broke to sue?"

Ralphie: "Then just do what Morty did."

Paulie: "Tell 'em Morty."

Morty: "Yeah, I was injured in a,  yeah, gambling accident.  And had my leg broke in 27 places."

Paulie: "It was a very unfortunate thing."

Ralphie: "A terrible accident."

Morty: "Instead of fixin my leg the dochtah removed my favrit tatoo.  Now my leg's all messed up and I got this big scar where Sabrina used to be.

I wanted to sue, but I didn't think I could afford it.  Since Congress made it illegal for Lawyers to work on  contingency I thought justice was only for rich people.  There's the retainer fee, the hundred bucks an hour, the expert witnesses, the court costs.  Who can afford that?"

Paulie: "But then he came to us."

Ralphie: "Family Legal Funding"

Morty:  "They gave me the cash I needed to get my lawsuit.  When my case was settled they just took a small percentage."

Paulie: "A nominal fee."

Ralphie: "Now you too can bring us your pain and suffering and get cash for lawyers fast.  It's easy."

Morty: "Their on-staff paralegal approved my case on the spot.  My suit was filed right away and now I'm able to pay off my debts.  Thanks Family Legal Funding."

Ralphie: "Don't mention it."

Paulie: "Yeah, Pain and Suffering is our business."

Ralphie: "You got the pain -- we got the game."

Paulie:  "And if, God forbid, you don't prevail in court -- we give you back your pain and suffering."

Ralphie:  "That's all that happens to you."

Paulie: "So come see us -- Family Legal Funding."

Ralphie: "We're Family."

Announcer:  "That's Family Legal Funding 1-555-GET CASH or cashforlawyers.com ; conveniently located next to the offices of Abner, Lance, and Chaser Attorneys at Law.  Division of Soprano Mortgage Company, Inc."



Moral:  When Lawyers are Outlawed only Outlaws will have Lawyers.

[This message has been edited by Local Rebel (03-05-2003 01:18 PM).]

nakdthoughts
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54 posted 03-05-2003 01:28 PM       View Profile for nakdthoughts   Email nakdthoughts   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for nakdthoughts

Food for thought *s

M
hush
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55 posted 03-05-2003 04:32 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Balladeer- I see what you're saying... and yeah, I guess the leniency should be in the sentencing. But with this guy... it's like nkdthoughts said- his registration was in limbo... he did what he had to do, so was he in violation of the law? I think it's a valid question, and a situation in which the statement "It wasn't my fault" may actually be accurately applied.

'Giving a not guilty verdict based on feeling sorry for the defendant has no place in a court of law....yet that's what juries do. That's also what you are advocating here.'

What I meant was that circumstances should be taken into consideration... things like what, who, when, where, why, and how. Is assisted suicide murder? Is not having the paperwork for the registration you filed for in violation of the law? In the example you mentioned, the circumstance of the couple having signed paperwork is a very important element- it shows that they were willfully in violation of the contract. But was this policy made clear to them? Was it swindled over in the fine print that, granted, people should read but never do? Have exceptions been made before? I think those elements are important...

You seem to have a very literal approach to the law- which isn't a bad thing- but it raises other questions. Do you support police officers having discretion on whether to warn, ticket, arrest? Do you trust that that discretion won't be abused?

'Was he aware of the law? Yes
Was he aware that until he registered it he was in violation of the law? Yes
By using it did he break the law? Yes.

Case closed.'

No... it's not that simple. The situation is a little muddier, and I don't think it's usually that simple to determine.

This guy (to my knowledge) was offered a plea bargain- you plead giulty, you only get a year? I don't know how accurate this is, or if I could be remembering it wrong (I heard it in passing a week or so ago)...

Another thing to consider... and I don't know the answer to this... but are juries privy to what the sentence will be? I mean, if I knew this guy was going to get a slap on the wrist, as a first time-offender who I feel didn't really do anything wrong, I might be more willing to vote guilty than if he was going to jail for six months.

Just some things to think about, I guess... I'm  not saying I have the answers.
Balladeer
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56 posted 03-05-2003 06:42 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Hush...yes, I agree that there are other considerations in this case. I was not aware that the man had indeed applied for the registration and was waiting for it. That, I would think, gives him more of an advantage. He can show that he WAS following the law and he could also claim that he wasn't aware he was not permitted to have the weapon while simply waiting for the paperwork to reach him. We have many similar examples, like car registration, for example, where the applicant is permitted to use the vehicle while waiting for the finalization of the paperwork, as long as the proper paperwork had been filled out and the fees paid. I would guess the court would certainly take all of this into consideration. Does the jury know beforehand what sentence the judge will pass? Absolutely not. They have the right to suggest an appropriate punishment and the judge has the right to follow their recommendation or supercede it with his own. The level of punishment is not supposed to influence a guilty/not guilty verdict.  There is either guilt or not. Yes, it is that simple almost all of the time. The lawyers are the ones who attempt to muddy the waters and cloud that fact in their attempt to defend their customer.

"I mean, if I knew this guy was going to get a slap on the wrist, as a first time-offender who I feel didn't really do anything wrong, I might be more willing to vote guilty than if he was going to jail for six months."

With all due respect, people who think like that are the worst examples of what is wrong with the jury system. You are saying you would be willing to find a man you felt did nothing wrong guilty....that is an inexcusable philosophy. Your vote of guilty should be based on your belief of his guilt, or lack of same, only.


You don't have all of the answers?? Me, neither...I don't even have all of the questions!   Thanks for the conversation..

[This message has been edited by Balladeer (03-05-2003 06:54 PM).]

Denise
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57 posted 03-05-2003 07:07 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Maureen, Glad that I brought a little laughter your way!

L.R., Very creative parody! Have you ever considered becoming a script writer? I think TV could use someone with your imagination!

Perhaps if lawyers were not getting the customers that they needed maybe, in time, they would consider lowering their rates to something verging on "affordable" for the average person and then maybe the average person could actually afford to hire one if they felt they had been personally injured by someone and wanted to bring suit. The way things are now, such as in Maureen's case, all the expense falls on the "accused" while the lawyers and insurance companies and/or big business continue to drive up astronomical bills. I agree that caps are not the way to go. The system needs to be totally revamped from the bottom up, to my way of thinking. There has to be a way to make the system more equitable for everyone involved.
hush
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58 posted 03-08-2003 01:38 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Balladeer-

'"I mean, if I knew this guy was going to get a slap on the wrist, as a first time-offender who I feel didn't really do anything wrong, I might be more willing to vote guilty than if he was going to jail for six months."

With all due respect, people who think like that are the worst examples of what is wrong with the jury system. You are saying you would be willing to find a man you felt did nothing wrong guilty....that is an inexcusable philosophy. Your vote of guilty should be based on your belief of his guilt, or lack of same, only.'

Balladeer- I said I didn't think he did anything wrong, not that he didn't break the law. I also don't see anything wrong with someone using drugs discreetly in a way that doesn't affect others... I don't see anything wrong with myself kicking back a couple of drinks even though I'm only 19. Just because I don't see aything wrong with it doesn't mean it's not against the law.

You know that case about that woman who ran her husband over with her car because she caught him cheating on him? There is a great deal of empathy from some women in this country... they can understand why she'd do it. Hey, maybe the even think she was doing the right thing by killing him. Should they vote not guilty because their personal convictions are in opposition to the law?

'The level of punishment is not supposed to influence a guilty/not guilty verdict.  There is either guilt or not.'

But what if this person could be sentenced to death? Do you want to be on that jury? I know I don't... but the idea of a panel of 'professional' judges unsettles me more.

So, what I'm getting is that from your point of view, the person is either factually guilty or not. Most people tend to be more influenced by emotional pleas than factual evidence. Therefore, it would be more effective to have a panel of professionals who a) can more easily see facts and discriminate between evidence and opinion and b) are less likely to be swayed by emotional swaggering on the part of lawyers.

I see your point, I really do... and in a perfect world, I might even concede to it... but I have major reservations about letting 'professionals' do all the wheeling and dealing in court... how easy is it to execute a political prisoner under that system? Essentially, it could become vigilanteism on the part of the government and their paid employees...

I guess I have this funny problem with idealism, and this yearning to feel like my opinion matters in the world... and I feel that when direct power is taken out of the hands of citizens, we lose something of the concept of democracy...
Balladeer
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59 posted 03-08-2003 06:54 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

"....but the idea of a panel of 'professional' judges unsettles me more. "


"I have major reservations about letting 'professionals' do all the wheeling and dealing in court... "

"Essentially, it could become vigilanteism on the part of the government and their paid employees... "

hush, it appears that your problem is a lack of faith in the government and the legal system to do the right things......and I can't fault you for that. There have certainly been enough shoddy dealings by both to warrant that feeling. I see nothing wrong, however, with letting "professionals" do the work. It is, after all, a profession. No, we do not have an ideal world....but that doesn't mean we can't keep trying for one. If we simply say "Well, it's a screwed up system that ain't gonna work so whaddayagonnado?", then nothing will ever change. We cannot lose our drive for idealism - or even perfection - even though we will never see it. I do not believe judges would start executing political prisoners or run amok from a panel. They have that power now. They can overturn any jury verdict they want...but they don't. As far as you wanting your voice heard (which is a very real wish for all of us), the average person will only be called to jury duty once or twice in a lifetime and even then mostly on unimportant items...not much of a platform for having your voice heard. There are many other ways.

I appreciate your responses and yes I do know where you are coming from and I understand and respect your feelings on the matter. This is how we learn from each other and see viewpoints from another's eyes. I would hope that any cynicism you feel will lessen over time. Personally, I fight it every day and sometimes it gets the best of me, too......bummer, ain't it?
Local Rebel
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60 posted 03-09-2003 12:12 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Opeth, you said:
quote:
About doctors, malpractice insurance, lawsuits involving doctors...and the crisis that faces America's health care system:

Logically, what factor or factors can be controlled in order to approach this issue in a feasible manner, thereby ending or at least minimizing this crisis?

Loyalties must be put aside. Emotions must not dictate the reasonings of decisions. Most importantly, it is the general populace who need quality health care and their needs must not be forgotten.

If you have a hole card to play -- it's time to show.
_________________

Deer said;
quote:
Take laws like Miranda, for example. I agree that people need to understand their rights but, should Miranda be abused or not used correctly, should the perpetrator walk? If a suspect wasn't read his rights, does that mean the crime didn't happen? The murdered victim didn't really die?...tell that to the survivors. Should there be punishment for not following Miranda? Yes..punish the officer or department that abused it. SUspend them, fire them or do whatever it takes but don't erase the crime because of it.


From the Miranda Ruling;
1. You have the right to remain silent.
2. Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law.
3. You have the right to have an attorney present now and during any future questioning.
4. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you free of charge if you wish.

It takes 11 seconds to say this to a suspect.  Is there any good reason for a police officer to ever NOT read a suspect his rights?  But even in the event he doesn't, that doesn't mean the case gets thrown out.  That's Television Justice.  In the real world Miranda works like this: http://www.cnn.com/2000/LAW/06/columns/lazarus.06.07/

This article was written before the vastly CONSERVATIVE Supreme Court upheld Miranda again in June 2000 so some of the information is a little dated.. but it is accurate in the actual workings... this germane excerpt for those who don't click:
quote:
the judge could adopt a middle ground and find what is known as a "merely technical" violation of Miranda. This kind of violation occurs when the police have failed to give a suspect the "prophylactic" warnings Miranda requires, but where the ensuing confession is nonetheless deemed to be voluntarily given. Under this third option, the prosecution would be precluded from using the Rathbun's un-Mirandized station-house statements in its case-in-chief.

But the finding of such a technical violation does not taint evidence discovered as a result of those un-Mirandized,but voluntary, statements. Accordingly, the prosecution would still be able to use the victim's body and the forensic evidence despite the omission of Miranda warnings. Moreover, if Rathbun later decided to testify at trial, the prosecutor would be allowed to use his heretofore inadmissible un-Mirandized statements to impeach his testimony.

The judge in the Rathbun case, of course, opted for door number three. He couldn't ignore the obvious flouting of Miranda. But what judge was going to suppress completely the crucial forensic evidence in a case that had made the cover of People magazine? As a consequence, Rathbun was convicted and is currently serving a life sentence.

More credit than it deserves

Having served several years as a prosecutor, I have little doubt that the wholly predictable outcome of the Rathbun suppression motion illustrates some general truths about Miranda. Such truths have found little place in its reconsideration before the court -- although they strongly urge that this controversial precedent be re-affirmed. While liberals champion Miranda for its protection of individual rights and conservatives decry the windfall it offers guilty defendants when the constable stumbles, I believe both sides give the doctrine more credit than it deserves.

As matters currently stand, when police officers fail to observe Miranda, judges almost always limit themselves (as Rathbun's judge did) to finding "technical" violations of Miranda, thereby allowing prosecutors to use evidence derived from challenged confessions and to keep defendants from testifying in their own defense. Judges almost never take the extra step of finding a confession to be actually involuntary -- which would deprive the prosecution of any evidence obtained as a resulted of the tainted confession.
Indeed, in practice, and wholly apart from the much-debated issue of whether Miranda inhibits police from obtaining confessions, the ruling has become largely symbolic. It allows judges to scold police for misbehavior and pay lip service to the right against self-incrimination, while minimizing the actual effect on police and prosecutors. Indeed, the Supreme Court, by opening various loopholes in what appeared to be Miranda's original scope, has guaranteed that Miranda warnings would be largely ineffectual, whether or not the actual doctrine were to be overruled.

But the fact that Miranda does little either to protect defendant's rights or to punish police wrongdoing does not mean it serves no purpose.

Paradoxically, the toothlessness of the present incarnation of the Miranda doctrine has produced the unintended benefit of mitigating one of the worst flaws in federal criminal law, namely, the grossly disparate treatment received by defendants depending on which judge presides over their cases. And this disparity will be greatly exacerbated if Miranda is overturned and replaced by Section 3501, the federal statute currently at issue before the court.



Here we have an example again of a panel of judges making what you consider to be 'bad' law Micheal in Miranda.  But, we see in application that it isn't necessarily the bugaboo that we might be led to believe that it is.

Interestingly enough -- in the actual Miranda case -- Miranda was found guilty again in his second trial of theft and rape after the Supreme Court made it's famous ruling supressing his original confession -- the evidence convicted him.  When he was later stabbed to death his murderer walked -- because he hadn't been read his rights.

[This message has been edited by Local Rebel (03-09-2003 12:21 AM).]

Local Rebel
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61 posted 03-09-2003 12:19 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Um.... Television Denise?

Thanks.. (i think?)  

Glad you got a smile Maureen....

But in the words of Rushbo Limbo... It's only funny if it's true.
Local Rebel
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62 posted 03-09-2003 01:10 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Brad said:

quote:

Is the jury an anachronism? Most people I know (not that I know many people anymore) saw jury duty as something to be avoided, it was a point of pride for some to get out of it. If this is widespread, then it might be argued that we can't have a jury of one's peers in any true sense of the word.

Perhaps, the privilege of jury duty should be scrapped, not because it gets us closer to the truth or anything like that, but because people no longer think it worthwhile to participate in any of the three branches of government. Perhaps they are content to give up on all three -- perhaps the move from democracy to meritocracy is something people actually want.



Deer said:
quote:

, let me say that the "jury of one's peers" is balderdash. How many movie star-millionaire-athletes were on the O.J. jury? How many Talibans or whatever kind of freedom fighters were on the John Walker Lindh jury? The 'jury of one's peers' scenario only seems appropriate then the defendant is a blue collar worker with 3.6 children and 1.7 cars in his garage. Second, your comments present a very revealing point...which should we look for in a trial - the letter of the law or compassion? Your leaning toward juries indicates to me that you feel that compassion and understanding should be more important.....and, if so, I don't fault you for feeling that way. But that's exactly how the justice system gets so screwed up, don't you see?



The numbers of eligible voters who actually vote is down to about half and continues to shrink.  Does this call into question the efficacy of voting?  Or it's place in the system?  Indeed it is the lack of voting that is the problem.  It is the lack of willingness to participate in juries that is the problem.

Similarly, between plea-bargaining, state level tort reform laws, and arbitration, jury trials are already shrinking to record low levels... Federal criminal cases ending in jury trials are down to around 4% now from about 10% in 1988.  Federal civil cases with juries are down to about 1.5% from about 5.4% in 1962.

With that small percentage of trials actually occurring it seems hardly appropriate to blame juries for the problems of the justice system.

Let's take a look at the OJ Simpson case though -- what was different about it?  I'm not sure what obvious difference you refer to Michael but the one that comes to my mind is that after he was acquitted by a criminal court jury -- it was a CIVIL court jury that found him guilty and awarded Nicole's family $33.5 million.  Under tort reform that would be reduced to $250k.  Is that what you think OJ should have to pay?

In the criminal trial would we expect a different outcome if the jury had been stacked with Magic Johnsons, Shaquile Oneals, Dennis Rodmans?   Both the prosecution and defense has the full opportunity to voir dire the panel.

Would you seriously want your fate to be decided by a panel of Janet Reno, Bill Clinton, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg?  If you get tort reform and get rid of juries that's what you might wind up with -- and no chance to venue shop either.

Local Rebel
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63 posted 03-09-2003 01:31 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Deer said:
quote:

There are many criminals who laugh at the justice system and they have reason to. They know before they commit the crime how many years they would get for it and how many actual years they would serve. They know the legal loopholes as well as the lawyers. If our legal system is such a deterrent why are the jails overloaded to the point that criminals are given early release to make room for others? Why do many have rap sheets longer than a roll of Bounty in Rosie's hands? We have gone so far out of our way to show fairness that the criminals are the ones who really benefit...and laugh at the system while doing it.



Brad said:
quote:

Here is a page for international incarceration rates. America is number one followed by South Africa: http://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=slv1&p=national+incarceration+rates  

If this is accurate, or even close to being accurate, it seems clear that we need some type of judicial reform. But here's the problem. If Michael's personal experience is true and widespread and I see no reason to question it, the problem is cultural, not judicial.



So I want to know -- if the Justice system can't convict criminals why are there so many in prison that we have to early release to put more in?  

Part of the overcrowding is caused by laws tying judges hands like mandatory sentencing for drug violations or three strikes and your out -- while well intentioned these measures have done nothing to reduce crime and have just caused overcrowding in prisons and often unjust outcomes for minor violations.

Brad is also partially right -- it is cultural  and this is the link on that page that I looked at http://www.visualstatistics.net/Publications/Intern  ational%20Incarceration%20Rates/Internatioal%20Incarceration%20rates.htm
Which shows incarceration rates compared to intact families and disparity in incomes by nations showing a direct correlation.

So maybe lawyers, doctors, CEO's, athletes, insurance companies, hospitals, corporations, shouldn't be allowed to make so much money -- maybe we should cap salaries too....   

But if consumer attorneys have their pay capped by tort reform -- won't all the good attorneys wind up working for the insurance companies where there will be no salary caps?

Your point Michael about criminals knowing the sentencing guidelines before they commit the crime is exactly the point.  

If companies know that people are only worth $250k -- many times it will be more cost effective to merely take the risk of a lawsuit rather than to do the right thing.

For the last 20 years my primary engineering function has been the introduction of new products to the market place... this is from the design phase all the way to the production rollout.  In the process of designing, and even before, there is a costing process and a business model established for the products -- one of the things we'd look at is quality levels necessary for different parts of the product and the processes that would be required to produce that particular feature at that quality level.

We'd use a very tedious process called Failure Modes and Effects Analysis to determine in very finite detail each components risks and each processes risks.  I can tell you -- if the model only calls for a $250k liability per occurrence -- product safety and quality is going to go down... BIG TIME.

That's about all the catching up I have time for right now...

Maureen -- there is one other point though -- another reason insurance companies refuse to settle or pay claims is that the longer they delay the greater the possibility that the claimant will just plain die and they'll get out of it completely.  This tactic increases with the age of the claimant -- such as my father who when 70 was rear ended by a propane truck -- the police said it was the truck drivers fault -- everybody knew it -- but the insurance company forced him to file suit and dragged it out for 4 years.


[This message has been edited by Local Rebel (03-09-2003 01:34 AM).]

Balladeer
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64 posted 03-09-2003 05:08 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

LR says...

Let's take a look at the OJ Simpson case though -- what was different about it?  I'm not sure what obvious difference you refer to Michael but the one that comes to my mind is that after he was acquitted by a criminal court jury -- it was a CIVIL court jury that found him guilty and awarded Nicole's family $33.5 million.  Under tort reform that would be reduced to $250k.  Is that what you think OJ should have to pay?

** You don't know what I'm referring to? I'm refering to the fact that the jury found him innocent despite the overwhelming evidence against him. Actually it was obvious that their minds had been made up very early and most of the court case was just extranneous palaver. To have 12 people take 4 hours to discuss and put together 9 months of testimony and opinion which they had not been allowed to discuss this during the trial is ludicrous. As a black friend I know here explained, "Blacks have been screwed by the justice system for years. This was a small payback." I believe him.**

In the criminal trial would we expect a different outcome if the jury had been stacked with Magic Johnsons, Shaquile Oneals, Dennis Rodmans?   Both the prosecution and defense has the full opportunity to voir dire the panel.

** I have no idea where that came from. My point was only that "jury of one's peers" is a misnomer. Yes, by the way, I think the verdict would have been different. **

Would you seriously want your fate to be decided by a panel of Janet Reno, Bill Clinton, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg?  If you get tort reform and get rid of juries that's what you might wind up with -- and no chance to venue shop either.

** Last time I looked Clinton and Reno were not judges...not would I expect them to be in the future. **

SOunds to me like you have a reasonable distrust in judges to the point you feel they would willingly act in an unprofessionial and biased manner. That's fine. You're entitled to believe that way....as I am to believe the opposite.

Local Rebel
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since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


65 posted 03-09-2003 05:54 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

It's not as much that I expect judges to do the wrong thing as it is that they are human beings who, by necessity, bring their biases into the courtroom.  Hence the battleground in the Senate over nominations.

Some judges ARE easily purchased though.  I've known some very good ones and some very bad ones.  That's the problem -- no consistency.

My faith is in the Constitution and the American People -- my cynicism is leveled at political process and 'leaders' both of which are very corruptible.

Your cynicism and faith are the opposite.  But as the the song says...

Aint that America?  You and me baby?
Brad
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since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


66 posted 03-09-2003 07:06 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
That's fine. You're entitled to believe that way....as I am to believe the opposite.


Are you hiding behind an entitlement?
Balladeer
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since 06-05-99
Posts 26302
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


67 posted 03-09-2003 08:27 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

That's right, Brad. Now, if I could just find a gal with a nice endowment  

[This message has been edited by Balladeer (03-09-2003 09:46 PM).]

nakdthoughts
Member Laureate
since 10-29-2000
Posts 19275
Between the Lines


68 posted 03-09-2003 10:40 PM       View Profile for nakdthoughts   Email nakdthoughts   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for nakdthoughts

LR, I may be wrong or not have heard or read enough about the reform bills, but in PA  they are losing DRs enough that they are seriously trying to find a solution.
I thought the cap was meant for medical and health lawsuits...not all other kinds. I know that there are many awards that are too high for the actions that were caused.

Maybe if they had a list of what illnesses or mistakes or health problems were caused and had caps for individual lawsuits, I  don't know how to word it exactly.

But if for instance a DR left a piece of gauze or something in a body during an operation... and later it had to be removed and  the patient and client was awarded an amount between A -D, A being the smallest that a jury could award and D being the largest..so at least there would  be some way to gage? the value.
I know it wouldn't be as simplistic as that, but juries have no idea where to start or end their thinking.

When I was sued for the dogbite or the fall the woman had, the lawsuit said it was for $1,000,000 +,  and she wanted a jury trial.
Nowhere was her stupidity or lack of intelligence taken into consideration upon walking right into the area where a tied up dog was.

I could understand her needing her medical bills paid for and pain and suffering...but  the original amount is ridiculous, when she was actually asking for $45,000 (or her lawyer wanted that amount for them) but if it would go to the jury trial all bets were off on the 45,000 and any amount above that, infinitum, could be decided.

It never got that far because I raised a  "stink" to my insurance company....but how many people know how to fight for their own rights when they are being taken advantage of?
Not many and I could have lost my home over it, if I didn't know the ins and outs of the company insurance agents, as told to me by that friend.
How many know they can sue their own homeowners insurance company for the amounts that are above the award asked for...when insurance companies play their game( rather lawyers play their games to see who comes out the winner) I had paid homeowners insurance for over 20 years with absolutely no claims by me or anyone else.
These policies are for the unexpected with the insurance companies betting that nothing happens. (same as life insurance...they  work on the premise you will live..while you get the policy because you are worried about if you were to die suddenly...but it is yours to claim on and shouldn't cause hardship or worry like many insurance companies put their clients through)

Just a thought that I wanted to get across while reading some of the last responses to this thread. I know I can't relate to much of the discussion, only to what has occurred in my own life...and believe me, I was a very naive person, still am unless I decide to explore events and mishappenings in my own life and that of my family.

M
Local Rebel
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since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


69 posted 03-09-2003 11:14 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Having award guidelines like sentencing guidelines is a good idea Maureen and it's what many judges (even conservative ones) are calling for.  

Tort reform, as it is being discussed, is focusing on malpractice suits -- but in many states and for the Federal reforms they want to apply the award caps across the system.

In Texas it was a 750k cap that applied to everything.

But, once again -- I hate to say this -- but, Doctors are dumb when it comes to finances (or most of them are).  They know thier field -- but they've always been prime targets for scam artists with "Dumb doctor deals" as they are known... they're being scammed by the insurance companies.

Award caps haven't worked in the past -- and won't work in the future.  

There's no guarantee by the insurance companies that they will lower their premiums in the tort reform package.

There is also no mechanism to put better controls on doctors.

What's even more sticky is how the Federal Gov is goin to get into the State Court system -- it's been taboo for over two centuries and certainly G.W. the Governor would have objected -- but now that he's President he doesn't seem to mind to tell everybody what to do... go figure.
Local Rebel
Member Ascendant
since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


70 posted 03-09-2003 11:36 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Brad said:

quote:
A couple of quick points, Americans probably talk more than any other culture and yet say so little when it comes to something important, something serious.  

Could it be that we confuse serious conversation with the conversion tactics of a religious zealot and don't want to be seen as that type of person?


Things change -- I wonder how much more didactic I can get?

quote:

I'm reading Menand's "Metaphysical Club" right now and it's striking to see how similar the tactics used today in politics are pretty much the same as a hundred and fifty years ago.


Wild huh?  I was actually thinking of Machiavelli though... The Prince would be applicable to the times.

What's wrong with this picture?
Opeth
Member Elite
since 12-13-2001
Posts 2224
The Ravines


71 posted 03-12-2003 08:31 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

KISS.

Lawyers do not make money for the masses, only for themselves and their personal clients.

Insurance companies are in business to make money, not only for themselves, but for hundreds of thousands of investing Americans.

Think about it.

[This message has been edited by Opeth (03-12-2003 08:32 AM).]

Local Rebel
Member Ascendant
since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


72 posted 03-12-2003 02:24 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Judge Judy logic again?

Lawyers are tools.

The insurance companies have lawyers.  Plaintiffs have lawyers.

To that end they provide access to justice for the masses.

The masses do not own stock in insurance companies.  But, the masses do pay premiums.
Opeth
Member Elite
since 12-13-2001
Posts 2224
The Ravines


73 posted 03-12-2003 02:43 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

"Judge Judy logic again?"

~ Your snide remark only makes me laugh.

"Lawyers are tools."

~ You need to get back into the shallow water before you get in too deep.

"The insurance companies have lawyers.  Plaintiffs have lawyers."

~ I'd prefer Judge Judy logic over your illogical out-of-context above statement.

"To that end they provide access to justice for the masses."

~ Justice: a whole new issue. KISS

"The masses do not own stock in insurance companies.  But, the masses do pay premiums."

~ The masses, who have IRA accounts...nevermind, I don't feel like 'splainin it to ya. Find out for yourself, if you want to.
Local Rebel
Member Ascendant
since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


74 posted 03-13-2003 12:49 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

~ Your snide remark only makes me laugh.

I hope it was as good a belly laugh as you gave us -- but I'm starting to understand why she seems like a mental giant.

~ You need to get back into the shallow water before you get in too deep.

Quite unnecessary -- one there is more than enough.


"The insurance companies have lawyers.  Plaintiffs have lawyers."

~ I'd prefer Judge Judy logic over your illogical out-of-context above statement.

In case you missed the subject of the thread that is the context.

"To that end they provide access to justice for the masses."

~ Justice: a whole new issue. KISS

Once again -- justice is the subject of the thread.


~ The masses, who have IRA accounts...nevermind, I don't feel like 'splainin it to ya. Find out for yourself, if you want to

Yes -- the devil is in the details -- I would have expected you to run away...

Oh well....
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