Monday, April 30, 2007

Tort Reform and Cong. John Sullivan

So called tort reform had big week in Oklahoma in last week. The Oklahoma legislature passed a patently unconstitutional package. Had Governor Henry not vetoed it with Attorney General Drew Edmondson's approval, the whole thing would have been in court for years, generating astronomical fees for both sides until it was eventually overturned. And, it would have been overturned. Significant portions of the legislation have already been found unconstitutional.

But, another little story was breaking as well. It would seem that Congressman John Sullivan was seriously injured in a traffic accident in D.C. last year. His pleadings make a good case that the Federal employees who were directing traffic were negligent resulting in permanent disabling injuries to the congressman. Congressman Sullivan exercised his constitutional right to petition his government for a redress of a private grievance by virtue of the civil courts. So far, so good.

But, it would seem that the Federal Government already has a version of tort reform in place which limits the remedies available to government employees who are injured on the job. Congressman Sullivan's civil lawsuit was dismissed last week and he was instructed to get in line with the rest of the government employees awaiting bureaucratic resolution of their injury claims. Sullivan's pleadings state his concern that it is possible that he will not be compensated for a permanent, disabling injury to his left eye that was incurred while on the job in the capital due to the apparent negligence of other federal employees. The court said in effect, "So what?"

Welcome to "Tort Reform."

The opinion can be found at:


Blogger Neal Synephrine said...

It's rare that a congresscritter gets treated like the rest of us riffraff. I like it.

Tort "reform" will be back next year, I'm sure. The sacks full of cash from the insurance industry will just be fuller, and will be passed around to enough legislizards to ensure a veto override.

8:31 PM  

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