An article in today’s AJC, titled “Tort reform has bizarre consequence,” describes the absurd consequences of the “winner pays” rule enacted as part of last year’s tort reform legislation. A young woman who was the victim of sexual assault, and whose assailants were criminally convicted, is at risk to be forced to pay her assailants’ attorney fees unless a jury awards at least 125% of the paltry offers made by the assailants. While some common sense Republican legislators who actually know how litigation works, labored long and hard on a consensus bill to fix the problems in the offer of judgment rule, the last thing I heard at the Capitol was that the proposed remedy may not make it out of committee, as the hard-line tort reform zealots actually want to take a punitive approach toward injury victims who dare to take their claims to court. Once again we see what can happen when laws are written in crayon by people who are both ignorant and mean-spirited. Fortunately, however, those who write laws with a Crayola disregard such minor concerns as constitutionality. In due course, I expect the Supreme Court will strike down this provision.
The Shigley Law Firm represents plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases statewide in Georgia, and in other states subject to the multijurisdictional practice and pro hac vice rules in each state. Ken Shigley was designated as a “SuperLawyer” in Atlanta Magazine and one of the “Legal Elite” in Georgia Trend Magazine. He is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, Chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Liability Institute and former chair of the Georgia Insurance Law Institute. He particularly focuses on cases arising from truck wrecks and accidents (tractor trailers truck wrecks, semi truck wrecks,18 wheeler truck wrecks, big rig truck wrecks, log truck wrecks, dump truck wrecks).