refers to proposed changes in the civil justice system that aim to reduce the ability of victims to bring tort litigation or to reduce damages they can receive.
Tort actions are civil common law claims first created in the English commonwealth system as a non-legislative means for compensating wrongs and harm done by one party to another person, property or other protected interests (e.g. physical injury
or reputation, under libel and slander laws). Tort reform advocates focus on personal injury
common law rules in particular.
In the United States, tort reform is a contentious political issue. US tort reform advocates propose, among other things, procedural limits on the ability to file claims, and capping the awards of damages. Supporters of the existing tort system, including consumer advocates, argue that reformers have misstated the existence of any real factual issue and criticize tort reform as disguised corporate welfare
In Commonwealth countries as well as U.S. states including Texas, Georgia, and California, the losing party must pay court costs of the opposing party.
Some legal scholars propose to replace tort compensation with a social security framework that serves victims without respect to cause or fault. In 1972, New Zealand introduced the first universal no-fault insurance scheme for all accident victims, which provides benefit from the government-run Accident Compensation Corporation
without respect to negligence. Its goal is to achieve equality of compensation, while reducing costs of litigation. In the 1970s, Australia and the United Kingdom drew up proposals for similar no-fault schemes but they were later abandoned.