Thursday, January 20, 2011

Now Walker Picks Winners and Losers in Litigation

If you are paying attention you have got to be sensing a theme at this point. First Scott Walker chose winners and losers in the area of transporation alternatives. He killed the high speed rail project and all of the jobs and commerce connected to it. In that instance he picked his road building boosters as the big winners.

One minute he is harping about uneccesary regulations on business and the next minute he is overregulating and endangering the entire wind power industry in Wisconsin. His actions not only endanger this form of alternative clean energy but they also put turbine manufacturing and other related jobs at risk. In that instance he picked his supporters in the real estate industry as the big winners.

Although Walker talked about jobs being his number one priority, the very first bill that he is trying to push through the legislature is the wide ranging "tort reform" bill. There is no evidence that it will create a single job but it will signifigantly weaken the ability of regular people to sue businesses when they or their loved ones have been harmed or killed through neglegence or by faulty products. Looking at some of the more drastic changes to things like the rules of evidence, it makes you wonder if a plaintiff will ever be able to get a fair shake in a Walker Wisconsin. In this instance Scott Walker has picked his donors in big business as the big winners.

Again, I'm sensing a theme very early in Scott Walker's administration. He wants to use every tool of (big) government to pick the winners and losers not just in business and development but apparently also in the court room.

Also read IT's "Tort reform rammed down our throats"


Anonymous said...

Why would the bill "significantly" weaken the ability of regular people (whoever they are?) to sue businesses? As for the rules of evidence, it seems that Wisconsin would merely adopt rules similar to those in forty other states.

Respectfully Submitted,

Cory Liebmann said...

perhaps i should have said "to successfully sue" or to "have a fighting chance" in court.

regular people as opposed to a big corporation or someone with vast resources.

this legislation weakens plaintiffs chances by taking away key pieces of potential evidence. for example it prohibits the use of a hospital incident report that may have been generated after a major screw up. it also makes it much harder to win punitive damages and then it puts a low cap on them just in case you do win.

the new rules of evidence wouldn't just meet those of the 40 other states, they would actually go beyond them (based on the linked item).