FUTURE IMPLICATIONS OF THE NATIONAL TORT REFORM MOVEMENT: TORT REFORM AND INSURANCE CRISIS IN THE SECOND HALF OF 1986

I. INTRODUCTION

Words are often very emotive, expressing our inherent perception of a problem. Thus it is fashionable today to speak of a property and casualty insurance “crisis” in terms of availability and affordability and of a need for tort “reform” to assuage this crisis. Words such as “crisis” and “reform” are strongly emotive, intended to produce a desired reaction.

On the other hand, Consumer Reports’ cleverly refers to the allegedly tort-caused insurance crisis as a “manufactured” crisis; one created by the insurance companies in an attempt to bail them out of an economic bind caused by market forces unrelated to the tort system. A report to the Congressional House Subcommittee on Banking, by the managing director of the distinguished Wall Street financial firm of Solomon Brothers, seems to bear out this analysis of causation. The President’s Tort Policy Working Group concedes that both market conditions and the tort system have brought about the present financial woes of the property-casualty insurance industry, but it concludes nothing can be done about market conditions while legislative action can correct the maladjustments in the tort system. . .

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Jerry J. Phillips, Future Implications of the National Tort Reform Movement: Tort Reform and the Insurance Crisis in the Second Half of 1986, 22 Gonz. L. Rev. 277 (1986-87).

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