There are legal, ethical, and moral issues that arise when the government imposes legislation to limit the amount of damages a person or their family can be compensated from a jury.   One circumstance (there are many) has raised this inherent unfairness.  Last year in my hometown, a children’s train derailed in a public park — killing a child and seriously injuring 28 others — but the law said all the victims could only split $600,000 to help compensate for their loss including paying back insurance for medical bills.  All of the victims are children. One family’s medical bills alone exceed the $600,000 that the 29 affected families are supposed to share.  The medical bills far exceeded the $600,000 so the victims of the gross negligence that allowed the accident to happen would get nothing.  Nothing for the loss of a child.

Recently, the politicians got together to discuss a bill that would raise that cap on awards that government agencies and non-profit groups can be ordered to pay, meaning victims of future accidents would have more money to help pay their bills.  The increase is small and meaningless–it should increase every year based on the growth of healthcare costs and/or inflation.

Of course, special interests like the S.C. Association of Counties, insurance companies, and "charitable" organizations have put pressure on the politicians to do nothing and let the bill to increase the caps die on the Senate floor. A ridiculous compromise bill would leave the arbitrary caps alone but give local government agencies the option to set up assistance funds to help pay the medical expenses of victims injured on public property.  Everyone knows that the option would never be used.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Navigation