Why Arbitrary Tort Limits are Unfair to Victims and Families
By Dean I. Weitzman, Esq. on October 2nd, 2015
Due to Tort Limits, Texas DOT Pays Only $250K to Crash Victim’s Kin
Tort limits in Texas, which mandate a maximum payment of $250,000 for anyone who sues a state entity for damages, have unfairly penalized the family of a Texas woman who was killed in 2014 by a state Department of Transportation (DOT) truck which struck her car head-on.
Cresha Leanne Greer, 41, was killed on Dec. 18, 2014, in Palo Pinto County, Texas, when her Nissan Versa was struck on State Highway 377 by a northbound Texas DOT truck that crossed the centerline of the road, according to a Sept. 18 story in the Mineral Wells (Texas) Index newspaper.
The state DOT admitted liability in the crash, but because the state has limits on tort awards, Greer’s survivor, her 12-year-old son, Brendan Curtis Greer, was only awarded $250,000 in the death of his mother, the story reported. Another $80,000 will also be received from his mother’s insurance companies, the story continued. A Texas judge approved the deal.
The DOT driver was pulling two trailers behind his truck when the crash occurred. Ms. Greer was heading to work at Palo Pinto County General Hospital just before the crash, the story reported.
This tragic case is yet another example of the utter unfairness of arbitrary, hurtful and misguided limits on the damages that be recovered in court by victims of the negligence of others.
Unfortunately, you don’t have to go to Texas to find an unfair result like this one.
In Bucks County here in Pennsylvania a few years ago, a high school student who lost a leg when a school bus pinned her to a wall also was limited to $250,000 in damages even after a jury awarded her $14 million for her catastrophic injuries. A judge had modified the jury’s decision because Pennsylvania law has a statutory cap of $250,000 when plaintiffs sue a state agency.
The judge negated a jury award of $14 million for a young girl who loses a leg due to someone else’s carelessness and she receives a paltry $250,000.
Of course that’s not fair.
Judges in the case said that the only way to change the situation is to change the laws that cap tort awards. But with the current legislature and their agenda to protect the insurance companies that donate money to their campaigns, that’s not likely going to happen any time soon.
What’s so unfair in these cases is that the entities that cause serious harm to plaintiffs simply don’t have to pay proper damages to compensate victims. Essentially, they get a free ride from the legal system.
One of the reasons that we have tort laws and allow lawsuits for negligence is because we want to be able to make the people who cause the injuries pay for their negligence. If we don’t do this, how else will people be willing to modify their behavior so that others don’t have to suffer the consequences of their bad judgment?
This is so wrong in so many ways. Here you have somebody who caused $14 million in injuries to an innocent victim and all they had to pay was $250K in damages.
Arbitrary tort limits must be changed and removed in this country. Justice demands this.
These kinds of tragic legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are severely hurt or killed in vehicle crashes through no fault of their own due to the actions, inattentiveness or indifference of others. That’s why it is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.
We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a vehicle incident or accident anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.
Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.
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