Monday, November 3, 2008

If Dems Win, Adjusters Can See Silver Lining in Resurgent Tort Bar

Today’s Wall Street Journal has an article (“Lawyers Aim to Roll Back Curbs on Lawsuits”) that addresses a theme the Claims Coach discussed a few weeks ago.

It examines the implications of a prospective Democratic victory at the polls tomorrow. Apparently tort lawyers are licking their chops and refueling their Gulfstreams at the prospect of an Obama Administration. Financial contributions from law firms weigh heavily toward the Democratic side. Curbs on lawsuits, tort reforms, caps on recovery for non-economic damages, mandatory arbitration clauses in consumer agreements are all at risk.

Tort reform has not been a hot campaign topic in the McCain vs. Obama race. No surprise there. Amidst the panoply of more oppressing issues – the tanking economy being foremost – it’s hard to make any case for tort reform being a big deal.

Adjusters and claim professionals may lament the prospect of their jobs being rendered more challenging if the tort climate evolves into a more pro-plaintiff atmosphere.

On the other hand, to the extent there are more claims and loss severity grows due to changes in the legal environment, perhaps those factors will drive a stronger need for employing good claims talent.

Here lies a possible silver lining: whatever provides full employment for the plaintiff’s bar may as well provide full employment for claim professionals!

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