GOP Licking Wounds over Defeat of Product Liability Bill in Senate

By Roman, Nancy E. | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), July 14, 1998 | Go to article overview

GOP Licking Wounds over Defeat of Product Liability Bill in Senate


Roman, Nancy E., The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


The Senate's failure last week to move on a GOP-backed product liability overhaul bill was just the latest blow to Republicans' once-high hopes of overhauling the nation's legal system.

"We're going to have to wait until we get more senators that see the trauma and cost caused by lawsuits," said Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott. "That could be next year, or when we have a president who would sign it."

The Senate Thursday effectively killed for the session a bill that would have reduced manufacturers' liability in defective product lawsuits. The defeat was the latest in a string of setbacks for the GOP effort to put national limits on punitive damages and rein in what critics call an out-of-control tort system - a central plank of the 1994 "Contract With America."

Pat Rowland, executive director of the Product Liability Coordinating Committee, said reformers may have to wait until 2001 before making another push in Congress. And the wait could be even longer.

"I don't think a President Gore would sign tort reform," said Victor Schwartz," a leading lobbyist for product liability legislation.

The upshot: A hodgepodge of state laws regulating product liability lawsuits remains on the books, greatly increasing both legal bills and market uncertainties for businesses.

In Washington state, for example, punitive damages - payments for a plaintiff's "pain and suffering" designed to deter manufacturers from selling unsafe products - have been outlawed. Other states, such as Alabama and Texas, are known for plaintiff-friendly tort laws, sympathetic juries - and huge damage awards.

The most recent congressional stab at product liability reform is a far cry from the broad legal reform blueprint passed by the House in the heady early days of the "Contract With America."

That agenda would have capped pain and suffering damages, forced losing plaintiffs to pay the winners' legal bills in some cases, curbed the practice of suing deep-pocket defendants for full damages in cases where they were only marginally liable, and curtailed fraud lawsuits in securities and investment cases.

The securities liability bill became law - over Mr. Clinton's veto - but much of the rest of the Republican legal revolution remains unrealized.

The most recent bill collapsed in the Senate amid partisan bickering, with Democrats saying they were not being allowed to offer amendments and Republicans maintaining Democrats planned to use the bill to advance unrelated issues such as tobacco and health care. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

GOP Licking Wounds over Defeat of Product Liability Bill in Senate
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.