Limiting litigation

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Columbia Daily Tribune

In a perfect world, courtroom litigation would be quick and inexpensive, producing definitive and affordable dispute resolution. Instead, harassing lawsuits can exact punishment even though no adverse judgment is reached. ...

Thus, we see proposed laws like the one now working its way through Congress that will exempt gun manufacturers from liability for illegal acts committed with their weapons.

Manufacturers -- of tobacco products, firearms and food, to name the current examples -- are making and selling legal products to independent consumers who have every opportunity to know what they are doing and who are quite beyond the control of the manufacturers after the purchase is made.

Responsibility for subsequent abuse of the product clearly lies with the consumer, not the manufacturer. ...

The increasing affluence and complexity of society overwhelm some of the simpler mechanisms that once governed our affairs. Who would have thought we ever would consider passing laws denying access to court for certain plaintiffs?

But here we are.

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