The USEP and Civil Litigation Reform

scale of justice with law books

The United States Equalitarian Party (USEP) sees U.S. Courts heavily burdened with countless lawsuits seeking damages by entities whose primary goal is monetary gain. The party would like to reduce this burden by capping successful lawsuit damage awards to three times the calculated real damage of the wrong. This damage cap would not limit the amount of punitive damages deemed necessary by the courts / assigned juries. It would simply direct those differentiated funds to the affected sector of society’s safety programs (e.g., transportation improvements, public services, food security, medical advances, etc.).

How Would That Work?

For example, in the case of medical malpractice suits where an identified doctor or medical facility has been found at fault. In the USEP model, the patient(s) would be compensated at up to three times the calculated real damage of the impact on their lives. Punitive funds awarded by a judge or jury separate from the civil award would be used to reduce the possibility of a like incident reoccurring in society writ large (e.g., through access to addiction treatment / mental health programs, improved engineering of equipment, establishing training / licensing requirements, etc.). Equalitarians believe as this practice becomes more commonplace, and its effect on the judicial system becomes more widely known, the public will become less incentivized to pursue the path of once profitable litigation.

Using our previous medical malpractice example, the USEP would promote the use of awarded punitive funds to support state and federal legislation / oversight once the civil litigants had been properly compensated. The goal of this action would be aimed at reducing malpractice insurance costs for doctors in private practice and reducing overall health care provider costs to patients. The idea being, as insurance costs decrease, the savings realized by reduced insurance premiums would in turn be passed onto patients in the form of lower care costs.

How Would That Help The Public?

This practice of placing caps on civil litigation would extend to the automobile industry, food service, personal divorce, copyright infringement, product piracy, etc. The USEP’s goal in tort reform is to recognize wrong doing while limiting the incentive for financial gain. The party understands the need for just, but not excessive, compensation. The party also understands the need to hold those who fail to take responsibility for their actions, or are willing to absorb penalties for profits by conducting risk assessment / benefit analysis tied to potential / intentional negligence, to be held accountable. Freeing our courts from the burden placed on it by those focused on financial gain rather than a reasonably calculated level of justice deserves attention and reform right now.

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