What is tort reform, and what can it do for Arkansas?
To understand “tort reform,” first we must know what a “tort” is.
Everyone knows what a crime is: if you commit a crime, the government may send you to prison. If you commit a tort, the government may make you give money to someone else. People who commit torts — who intend to harm others, or do something that is so risky that it harms others — are often required to compensate those they harm by paying them money.
Tort reform is just the enactment of laws or policies that fix some of the abuses that are commonly seen in the tort system. The goal of tort reform is to improve the economic climate of the state and the fairness of the legal system.
According to the Chamber of Commerce, Arkansas is in the bottom ten states when it comes to the state’s lawsuit climate, and in the bottom five states when it comes to the state’s handling of scientific and technical evidence.
This is the first in a series of posts that will explore the issues surrounding tort reform.