The civil justice system was originally designed to help injured people receive compensation for property damage and medical bills and to require the party who caused the damage to pay that compensation. But once the corrosive power of large sums of money enters the picture, the system cannot help but be skewed.
Take for instance the recent case of a woman who
sued a car insurance company
because she contracted a sexually transmitted disease during a backseat tete-a-tete. The Missouri court held that the injury did in fact occur in the car and upheld the award of $5.2 million. I will bet that your car insurance company does not list sexually transmitted disease as a covered risk. Nonetheless, look for your car insurance rates to go up as the insurance companies try to figure out how much to set aside for romantic liaisons! This case will certainly encourage other trial attorneys to take on similar cases.
But that is small potatoes compared to what is going on in the big-dollar cases. For instance, trial lawyers have teamed up with state attorneys general to sue large corporations for a variety of claims. Most recently, several states have seen lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies over the opioid crisis. While there are certainly people who will abuse prescription medications and unscrupulous doctors who will over-prescribe those medications, the big part of the opioid crisis concerns illegal narcotics. Nonetheless, trial lawyers working with state attorneys general have filed tort claims against companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Teva, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, McKesson, the list goes on, seeking to hold those companies totally responsible for all the problems stemming from illegal drug use. A trial judge in Oklahoma actually entered a verdict against Johnson & Johnson for nearly half a billion dollars. The money, after