Tort Law Reform

Fundamental principles of justice require that persons be held accountable for the harm they cause others. We therefore call for individuals to be liable for damages intentionally or negligently (and proximately) caused by themselves or their property. Employers may be liable for injuries to their employees caused by the employer’s property in the course of employment; but employees may voluntarily consent to assume the risk of any occupational hazards of which they have reasonable notice.

We hold that fault and causation should be the basis of liability in tort. We therefore oppose all governmental no-fault programs. We further oppose government-imposed rules that would base tort liability on any sort of cost-benefit analysis.

We oppose the legal doctrine that it is a tort to induce a party to breach a contract. Liability should attach only under the laws of contracts to the party who is in breach―never to a third party for mere advice or persuasion.
We call for the abolition of the legal doctrine of strict liability. No action should lie against a manufacturer, distributor, or builder for harm resultant from use of his or her product without proof of fault. This is not intended to preclude any action where a consumer alleges breach of a sales contract or express warranty.

We call for applying joint-and-several liability solely to cases in which the defendants actually acted in concert or agreed by contract to be bound jointly and severally. We condemn the common practice of applying this doctrine to independent actors in an attempt to steal from “deep pockets.”

We call for the abolition of “class action” suits by classes that are involuntarily created but we uphold the right of consenting plaintiffs to voluntarily join their suits together.

We oppose all government-imposed ceilings on damage awards as unjust denials of the principle of responsibility for one’s deeds and as denials of just redress of harm. In addition, we oppose proposals to limit attorneys’ prices or fees, contingent or otherwise.

We call for repeal of the Unfair Competition Act (UCA). No attorney, public or private, should be allowed to bring suit against a company for marketing practices, without representing a named plaintiff. No such action should succeed, absent proof that a real consumer has actually been harmed or misled.

We call for repeal of the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act of 1975 (MICRA). Artificially imposed limitations on recovery for actual and proven wrongs are inappropriate mechanisms to lower medical malpractice insurance premiums.