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October 15, 2005


Georgia Court Strikes Down State Tort Reform

A Georgia Court has struck down far-reaching tort reform in that state.

This past spring, Georgia passed legislation regarded as among the most far-reaching tort reform packages to have passed state legislatures in recent years. The provisions require plaintiffs to pay defendants' attorney fees if plaintiffs fail to obtain a verdict at least 25% greater in value than the defendants' last offer of judgment.

Judge Michael Clark's order striking this down concluded:

"By authorizing attorney's fees to be awarded against plaintiffs who assert their right to prosecute their claims in court, secure a judgment in their favor, but fail to win as much damages as they hoped, the statute violates [Georgia's Constitutional] guarantees that "[n]o person shall be deprived of the right to prosecute ... [their] cause in any of the courts of this state."

This conclusion (that the American Rule is required to enable suits to happen) is of course stupendous for all those who have ever lived in the rest of the Western world, where the right to sue coexists with the obligation to pay the legal fees of the person you have wrongfully sued...

Posted by Michael Krauss at 09:55 AM | TrackBack (0)



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Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.