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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1614983
 
 

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The Endless Campaign: How the Tort Reformers Successfully and Incessantly Market Their Groupthink to the Rest of Us


Michael L. Rustad


Suffolk University Law School; Stetson University - College of Law

July 7, 2010

Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 10-32

Abstract:     
Neo-conservatives often employ the theme of personal responsibility to marginalize plaintiffs seeking compensation for mass torts. For example, the tort reformers use techniques of blaming the victim successfully in defending tobacco products liability claims. This groupthink about corporate victimhood deflects attention away from the true victims of defective products, negligent medicine, or unreasonably risky activities. Similarly, neo-conservatives redefined the term "reform" to signify caps and other limitations on recovery for injured plaintiffs in an effort to improve the functioning of the American civil justice system. Tort law's remarkable ability to continually adapt to old causes of action to new threats and dangers makes it an important institution of social control. A strong regime of tort law ensures that not even multi-billion dollar industries, such as those represented by the tort reform movement, are beyond the reach of the law. Tort law is, as it has always been, forward-looking with the ability to confront new social problems and conditions. The tort reformers endless campaign of misinformation threaten to diminish the ability of our civil justice system to evolve to meet the emergent hazards of the twenty-first century.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 7

Keywords: tort reform, group think, ideology, tort law

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Date posted: May 25, 2010 ; Last revised: July 8, 2010

Suggested Citation

Rustad, Michael L., The Endless Campaign: How the Tort Reformers Successfully and Incessantly Market Their Groupthink to the Rest of Us (July 7, 2010). Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 10-32. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1614983 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1614983

Contact Information

Michael L. Rustad (Contact Author)
Suffolk University Law School ( email )
120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108-4977
United States

Stetson University - College of Law ( email )
1401 61st Street South
Gulfport, FL 33707
United States
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