Sumner, Scott


Scott H.Z. Sumner, Esq. is a principal in the Northern California operations of Khorrami Law Firm. He is a member of Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC).

The Trouble With “Tort Reform”

By Scott H.Z. Sumner

We tend to think of public figures who advocate for what they like to call “tort reform” as being conservative. We shouldn’t.

Why? Because the “reforms” for which they advocate fly in the face of core principles held by conservatives and others, namely personal accountability, reducing government spending, empowering individuals and strengthening family values.

Personal accountability: By making it difficult or, in some cases, impossible for consumers who have been harmed to take corporations or other wrong-doers to court, or by limiting the amount of compensation harmed consumers can receive if they do go to court, “tort reform” measures strip accountability from the equation.

That lack of accountability limits the deterrence of further wrongdoing. “Tort reform” supporters who would blanch at being considered “soft on crime” regarding criminal matters wind up winking at wrongdoing in civil matters.