My kinda tort “reform”

Fuck caps on recovery and abolishing joint and several liability. Fuck that shit right in the ear. The Babylonians had tort “reform” figured out in 1760 BCE.

The Code of Hammurabi, Law 215 provides that “[i]f a physician make a large incision with an operating knife and cure it, or if he open a tumor (over the eye) with an operating knife, and saves the eye, he shall receive ten shekels in money.” Be careful though, doc. Law 218 states that “[i]f a physician make a large incision with the operating knife, and kill him, or open a tumor with the operating knife, and cut out the eye, his hands shall be cut off.”

And Babylonian tort reform wasn’t limited to med mal. Those boys had construction defect litigation figured out as well. Laws 229 and 230 provide that a builder gets put to death if he fails to construct a house properly, the house falls, and the homeowner or his son is killed.

So I say let’s shitcan the current civil justice system in its entirety and replace it with a Hammurabian system. That solution has something for everyone. For the tort “reform” crowd, the proposal does away with plaintiffs’ PI lawyers entirely. Folks such as myself will like the fact many private insurance companies would simply dry up and blow away.

Personally, I’m particularly fond of the absolute liability imposed in the med mal rule cited above. You don’t have to prove fault (all you need do is show a particular outcome) and there are no defenses. Booya.

H/T – Walking the Berkshires

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  • Justinian Lane  On August 4, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Do you think this stuff is where we came up with the whole law as a sword/shield metaphor? Nice post!

  • genghishitler  On August 4, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Thanks, Justinian. Good luck with law school. One of the best plaintiffs’ PI lawyers I know is a Michigan State alumnus.

    To the rest of y’all, please check out Mr. Lane’s fine work at (just click on Justinian’s name) and TortDeform (see the link on the right side of the page).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: