Get Connected
  • facebook
  • twitter
Print

CANDIDATES EXPRESS TORT REFORM VIEWS

This story was inadvertently omitted from Wednesday's Gazette. It

 

was meant to run with the Issues 2000 story which outlined the Republican

 

and Democratic candidates' positions on tort reform.

 

 

 

 

 

larrym@wvgazette.com

 

 

Two other major candidates for governor were not invited to The

 

Greenbrier business summit, but have similar opinions to offer regarding

 

proposed changes to the state's civil justice system.

 

 

Author and Mountain Party candidate Denise Giardina and Bob Myers, the

 

Huntington businessman on the Libertarian ticket, share skeptical

 

views regarding the need for tort reform.

 

 

"Generally, Libertarians feel that the courts should be open to anyone,

 

which would make us very cautious about tort reform," Myers

 

  • aid. "We favor less government in most areas, but this is one area where
  •  

    we want to see more government involvement."

     

     

    Myers said that if anything, the court system favors large corporations

     

    to the detriment of others.

     

     

    "If you have money, you can buy your way into one level of justice. If

     

    you don't have money, you get another level of justice," he said. "When a

     

    rock comes through my roof from a mining company, I want a just and

     

    equitable outcome. I don't want a mining company hiding behind a bunch of

     

    lawyers."

     

     

    Myers said he does favor such proposals as mediation and binding

     

    arbitration to resolve civil disputes, such as how they are used to

     

    resolve contract disputes between workers and their employers.

     

     

    Giardina pointed out the court rule that allows judges to fine lawyers

     

    for filing meritless lawsuits as one of several "reform" measures

     

    that already exists.

     

     

    "It seems that those kinds of protections are already in place," she

     

  • aid. "I'm against the idea of limiting damages. I think that's really
  •  

    just a way of increasing profits for the insurance companies and denying

     

    protection for consumers and people who use services."

     

     

    Giardina further questioned whether insurance companies are part of the

     

    problem, instead of lawsuits, in such areas a medical malpractice.

     

     

    "Perhaps if we are going to put a cap on something, perhaps we should

     

    put a cap on malpractice insurance," Giardina said. "It's supposed to

     

    protect doctors, not make insurance companies wealthy."

     

     

    To contact staff writer Lawrence Messina, use e-mail or call 348-4869.

     

     


    Print

    User Comments