It is doubtful whether there has been anything like the present attack on injured victims’ rights in the two hundred year history of the American civil justice system. In the 1986 state legislative session, 41 states passed legislation to restrict some rights of innocent victims to sue and be fully compensated for their injuries. In a few states, legislatures enacted across-the-board tort law changes overturning state common law which for generations had afforded harmed citizens a means of challenging injustice and negligence.
As the insurance industry advertisements tell it, all this is the necessary consequence of an unrestrained jury system” exorbitant awards, and unpredictable results”‘ which are not only crippling the insurance industry, but have, in the words of the insurance industry’s most powerful ally, President Reagan, “begun to eat away at the fabric of American life.”” . . .