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Ten years of tort reform have provided greater access to health care and helped make Texas the nation’s leading job producer. Indeed, by recognizing the causal connection between economic prosperity and efficient, fair courts, the Texas legislature passed and Governor Rick Perry signed House Bill 4 (HB4)—powerful tort reform legislation that is the foundation of the Texas economic miracle. Yet, despite the awesome economic growth and increased access to health care triggered by HB4, members of the trial bar are still working to overturn this reform. While Texans should stand their ground and rebuff efforts to undo HB4’s successful tort reforms, all Americans should take notice of Texas’s remarkable transformation and look to enact similar reforms in their own states.
A critic of Missouri's effort to do the same argues that tort reform violates the 7th Amendment.
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The 7th Amendment to the United States Constitution provides for the right of citizens to have their disputes tried to a jury of their peers. Under the Missouri Constitution, “the right to trial by jury as heretofore enjoyed shall remain inviolate“.
Inviolate. That is not a word used very often in today’s language. “Inviolate” means “free from violation, injury, or outrage” and, alternatively, as “not infringed.”
And yet, our constitutional right to jury trial is under attack nearly constantly in legislatures across the country. Yesterday, Governor Jay Nixon vetoed two attempts to violate, injure, and infringe upon Missourian’s right to jury trial.
SB 847 would give a negligent defendant a discount on paying damages based on insurance or benefits purchased or obtained by the injured victim. This bill would have taken the insurance paid for by the victimand given those benefits to the defendant.