Caps on Damages Harm Public Safety and Thwart Justice
Statutory limitations or “caps” on damages can leave those injured by dangerous products without any recourse because the existence of such caps remove the incentive for contingency fee lawyers to take such cases where the expenses are high relative to the maximum potential recovery, as was the intent of the drafters of such legislation. History has shown that many large corporations who manufacture products that injure consumers–from flammable pajamas to the lack of safety guards on dangerous machinery–will not take the steps necessary to prevent injuries or deaths caused by their products without the threat of recovery from lawsuits brought by plaintiffs and the potential for punitive damages. Caps on damages only serve to promote further negligence and recklessness on the part of corporations who do not view the potential claims from injured consumers as sufficient reason to make their products safer, while still complaining about “over-regulation” from government when such regulations are imposed on them.
To read more on this subject, view the recent New York Times article regarding GM ignition switch injury cases and the difficulty victims have encountered in bringing suit against the manufacturer in states that have damages caps.