You might have heard this term a lot when reading about the health care debate but do you know what it really means?
According to a Wikipedia article on tort reform, it is referring to a system of changes in the civil justice that reduces tort litigation.
Basically, it reduces the amount of frivolous lawsuits.
What is a frivolous lawsuit?
In my opinion, a woman that sues McDonald's (and wins) because she spills her hot coffee on herself, is a frivolous lawsuit.
A person that sues a gun manufacturer because their particular brand of gun was used in a crime or because they accidentally shot themselves, is a frivolous lawsuit.
I would even say that a lawsuit against the tobacco industry due to lung cancer deaths is a frivolous lawsuit. Anyone that smokes and by now does not know that smoking is bad for your health, I'm sorry, but they are idiots.
An example of tort reform is California's Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act which capped the damages a person can receive from a medical malpractice suit to $250,000 and set a time limit on filing a medical malpractice suit.
From what I have observed, most "ambulance-chasing" lawyers are opposed to tort reform. Makes sense. Most of their money comes from filing frivolous lawsuits.
For what its worth, I support tort reform.