If you ask most people how they feel about “tort reform,” most will offer an opinion: good or bad. My goal is not to convince you one way or another, but rather to inform you of how tort reform really works in practice. I will leave it you to make a decision as to whether tort reform is good, bad, or, more important, consistent with justice meted our fairly.
Tort reform generally refers to one thing: caps on damages. Put another way, it is an arbitrary legislative limit in personal-injury lawsuits imposed without regard to the degree of the loss.
The best way to show you how caps on damages work, and the strange outcomes that result, is to look at the same accident, and the same injury in three different abutting states/jurisdictions. Let’s look at the same case that is tried to a jury in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.