In 2004, Nevada passed damage caps of $350,000 as part of a legal reform package. It always amazes me when tort reform doublespeak convinces people that the remedy to frivolous lawsuits is to put a cap on the biggest and most harmful cases. But, all it does is reveal what the "reformers" really want to do. They have no real care about the silly or dumb cases, they really want to limit their liability and be able to do a cost benefit analysis on their negligence.
When you look close, as members of the Injuryboard have, there isn’t the explosion of litigation because personal injury attorneys only get paid if we are successful. A case comes in and what it means is costs. We front the expenses so that people have a key to the courthouse. If and only if the cases settles or wins at trial do we get our costs back and we get paid. So why in the heck would we want to spent time on worthless or made up cases?
So let’s get back to the Nevada example. They pass damage caps and does it affect claims? Sure does it limits what people who are horrifically injured can recover for their damages. The Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada found a way to save some more money by reusing syringes and single-dose vials of medicine for multiple patients. Guess what happened: tens of thousands of patients were put in danger and the largest Hepatitis C outbreak in the country was spread.
What is Hepatitis C:
Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). HCV infection sometimes results in an acute illness, but most often becomes a chronic condition that can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer.
Transmission: Contact with the blood of an infected person, primarily through sharing contaminated needles to inject drugs.
Vaccination: There is no vaccine for hepatitis C.
So it’s just damage to a major organ and there is no vaccine. How did you get it? My doctor gave it to me. So now these people all have not only a limit on what they can do to protect themselves, but also a limit on what they can recover from the money grubbers who did it to them. The Nevada legislature will hopefully understand the importance of protecting future consumers and get rid of the protections for the wrong people.
A founding partner with Bradshaw & Bryant, Mike Bryant has always fought to find justice for his clients—knowing that legal troubles, both personal injury and criminal, can be devastating for a family. Voted a Top 40 Personal Injury "Super Lawyer" multiple years, Mr. Bryant has also been voted one of the Top 100 Minnesota "Super Lawyers" four times.