On Monday, presidential hopeful Rick Perry participated in a CNN debate in which he disregarded his former stance against a national tort reform. In a November 2010 interview, the Texas governor said,
“One of the reasons why I was never for a national tort reform was because I think we do it better in the state of Texas… that ought to be our decision in the state of Texas.”
However, Perry offered a completely contradictory statement Monday night:
“…one of the things that’s really important, one of the things that the Fed Reserve chairman said was the most powerful, one of the most powerful thing that happened, was tort reform that we passed in that state. You want to talk about some powerful job creation, tell the trial lawyers to get out of your state and to quit costing businessmen and women. That’s what needs to happen in the states. And it’s also what needs to happen at the federal level, passing federal tort reform at those federal levels.”
It seems he has done quite the about-face when it comes to states’ rights. As a California product liability lawyer, I find this sudden change of heart extremely troubling. Tort law is meant to protect the rights of the consumer, and holds negligent parties accountable for their actions. Tort law is necessary to care for the interest of the consumer and to hold corporations liable for damages they cause to individuals. As a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer I feel that Rick Perry’s swift change of opinions on the issue should be noted by every American; as consumer rights is an issue that affects us all.