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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 12, 1987, New Braunfels, Texas Opinions ttditir and Publisher Managing Editor Editorial Tort reform question of money and emotion Texans Against Tort Reform advertisements on television show a little girl about to be run over by a tractoMrailer rig driven by an apparently intoxicated driver and suggest Floridas experience with tort reform has not been The irony of tort law and tort reform is that it pits in surance companies and lawyers against one In surance companies want to limit the amount of money they pay out for punitive or exemplary who often derive a lot of money from these punitive of course want to continue our system of awarding whatever a jury says is A point to consider in tort reform legislation is that no one involved wants to limit actual Tort reform certain ly wont prevent drunk driving and one can only wonder what this child is doing in the trucks alone and after dark in the first No fair person would want to limit actual damages that can be awarded in lost medical lifetime income on a projected earning There is no limit on what a plaitiff can recover if they can prove they could have reasonably been expected to million in their lifetime had it not been for someone elses One part of tort reform is whether to limit the amount juries can award for punitive or exemplary damages com monly called pain and To say that on top of any reasonable proved actual lawyers and their clients should also be able to sue for absolutely any amount for intangible pain and suffering is a tough How much is the loss of a child or spouse worth Juries may not realize that the plaintiffs lawyer stands to get in some cases half of the punitive damage That million for pain and suffering will mean million goes to the plaintiff who has already a lifetime income and expenses associated in any way with actual loss The lawyer will get the other million for convincing a jury that somehow financially breaking a company or governmental entity is the right thing to do because an in dividual suffered anguish or perhaps permanently but also Of insurance companies should have to prove that ratepayers are making up for true losses and not for those companies bad Insurance the lawyers should have to make public their profit and loss statements before being allowed rate Some say juries are smart enough to not bankrupt a city or industrial employer and can be counted on to act fairly in awarding punitive Maybe but when we assess responsibility based on who has the deepest the real cause of an accident or injury may be ignored in the interests of having somebody pay for The concept of joint and several liability means that a city found onetenth of l percent responsible for a motor vehicle accident can be held liable for all damages Never mind that a drunk an individuals own poor judgement or even an act of God was the primary culprit in someones Its a complicated to be But surely it shouldnt be decided on the kind of advertising Texans Against Tort Reform are Its an argument waged over money but obviously intended to elicit an emotional the very thing the antitort reform side says juries should be counted on to sublimate when they decide who should Forum LETTER POLICY The HeraldZeitung welcomes All letters should be sign ed and Include an address or telephone The newspaper reserves the right to Letters should be sent to New Braunfels P 0 Drawer New Texas or brought to our offices at New Braunfelsers apathetic Dear I cant believe that anyone would not want to vote in somehing a im portant as city We should cherish the right and freedom to The future of our city is important and we all have the right to vote for the persons who make the final decisions We were all given chances to hear the can didates at two different forums and plenty of literature on each can The city and each candidate goes through a lot of expense in any election the least we could do is get out and Ive talked to people about why they dont vote and its really sad some of the excuses people give Im to dont dont trust it all boils down to lazy A letter Wednesday in Forum complained about the hard ships ol having to go to three whole different places to vote A couple of years ago in El Salvador a few hun dred people were killed going to and from the polls because they wanted to Now thats a Jn a town the sjje of New irajywJeis there should be a turnout Ql njore than for any NexJ election lets get oujt A simple thank you Dear This letter goes out to the couple that stopped to help me and my two sons 5 and 3 years old i on April when my car stalled in heavy traffic between Selma and New They drove us to the nearest phone and waited to make sure 1 reached someone to come and pick us They told me they were from New Braunfels This is to say thank you to them 1 1 did not get their but they were in a grey van I believe And to tell New Braunfels what kind and fine people they have God bess you Rob Msrtei Texas Simple message To the editor After reading David Mays article on James Romans which as pubished April 1 have some in formation regarding writing the Parole Board yj J have ob tained their it is 86W SJjpaJ Creek to Capitol sta Texas Whjo writing you must refer to his f uj name his birth which is i IHl Were but are not one of the finalists to be Ann Landers v Wake up and smell the basement James Kilpatrick GOP unfaithful may fry in their own grease WASHINGTON To look at last weeks dismaying roll call in the overriding the presidents veto of the highway is to recall one of Brownings better Thirteen Republicans refused to sustain their leader Just for a 65limit they left just for the pork they denied him a Consider the circumstances Here was a Republican struggling to recover from the wounds of the Iranian arms affair fighting to reestablish his leadership role Here was a bill indefensibly larded with pork barrel Packed into this plump sausage were scores of demonstration all of them to be financed with federal few of them subject to rigorous examination for need And here was the presidents veto The bill authorizes funding levels of 5 billion over five billion more than my original re quest and more than is brought in by highway user represents a failure to constrain federal especially pork barrel spen Some of the unaffordable provisions include addon funding for 152 special interest projects The fiveyear federal cost of the 15 highway projects is estimated to be 4 nearly million of this amount is not subject to any spending The total cost to complete these projects is estimated to be 5 and they have not even been selected through the established mechanism that relies on the exper tise of state and local officals The president had other valid objections Massachusetts would benefit at the ex pense of all other through expansion of the Boston interstate highway system Los Angeles would get up to for Its metrorail system Eleven cities would gobble up 80 percent of the funds or mass transit For these and other he returned the bill without his signature With a defiant whoop and a lusty the House at once voted to override Republican notably Bob Michel of were in the vanguard of the mutiny Their desertion can be explained if not excused It is more im mediately important to representatives than to senators to bring home a few pounds of bacon The Senates final sote to override what1 Scorn1 Contempt Thirteen Republican senators herd a personal plea from the begging them to stand with him Not not one1 would come to his side Some of the defections were expected Not one drop of party loyalty flows in the veins of Con necticuts Lowell any man of given his would move his chair across the aisle and let the GOP say good riddance to bad rubbish Pete Wilson of California comes up for reelection next it would have been hard for him to vote against a bill that rewards California so richly Hecht of Nevada and Durenberger of Minnesota also face the voters in the 65mile authorization was important to them What of the others1 Kit Bon and John Danforth ol who earlier had voted to override Reagans veto of the clean water again refused to support the president John Heinz and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania similarly defected Al DAmato of New York succumbed to the lure of subway money It baffles understan ding to know why Thad Cochran of Mississippi Larry Pressler of South Dakota and Mitch Me Connell of Kentucky would not answer the presi dents plea And what of Steve Symms of Idaho0 his constituents probably would like a 65mlleper hour limit on parts of the highway from Boise to but could that have justified his vote to override1 Symms was just in large part because of Reagans energetic campaigning in his behalf Under the unwritten rules of the Symms owed Reagan a favor In return When Symms refused to Reagan might have recalled a line from King Lear How sharper then a serpents tooth It to have a thankless child Some of the reporters and editorial writers have described the Senate vote as a humiliating ol stunning defeat or the presi dent The descriptions were quite wrong My guess Is that the 13 rebellious Republicans will suffer whatever humiliation may be spread around Reagan himself will benefit from the admtra lion that goes to a fighter who fights the good fight against overwhelming odds The president emerges as a man of conviction His complaisant colleagues emerge as men of expedience only Guest Column Texas Growth Fund bid a business venture New fioro By JUPITHZAFFIRINI State Senator District 21 Economic development and education are the key to a better future for our state and par ticularly for South Recognizing this as a Senator Chet Edwards iDDuncanviUei and 1 have recently in troduced Senate Joint Resolution 10 which would establish the Texas Growth a venture capital which would help creat jobs Because our proposal deals with the Perma nent University the Permanent School the Teacher Retirement System of Texas and the Employees Retirement System of a constitutional amendment is If the joint resolution the amendment will be placed on the 3 ballot Texas voters then will have the opportunity to vote for the future of economic The wouJd encourage the directors of the aJwejnentioned entities to invest MP to one percent of their total fuAds in the venture capital The Tesas Growth Fund would provide money for investment in new small businesses The fund could also be used to invest in businesses with rapid growth potential in applied research and organizational activities leading to business formation and in opportunities involving new or improved processes or products Venture capital investments can pose a higher but they can also yield higher thus making the opportunity attractive to many money Despite the feasibility of such a the state has yet to establish any program for matching new business ideas with potential SJR lu would do just that One of the major benefits of this legislation would be to promote the creation of par ticularly a boon to povertystricken South Texas Several counties in our senatorial district 21 are among the South Texas counties which are consistently among those with the highest unemployment Starr County traditionally has the worst unemployment rate in the The most uptodate figures show Starr Countys unemployment rate as percent percent 208 202 percent percent By the statewide rate is the national is percent These South Texas eottnties would benefit greatly from effective use if the Texas Grows SJR specifically requires that all in vestments of the fund shall be directly related to the retention or expansion of employ ment opportunity and economic growth in The Texas Growth if could make as much as million available to new and small businesses This figure could be near ly for the resolution calls for securing matching funds for at least ao percent of the funds available SJR 10 provides safegaurds for investors as well as the opportunity for high returns With venture capital and more funds available for investment in expan siofl and modernization of business and in dustrial Texas can once again tafce a leading role in the eomtrys growth The state must become toyolye4 IB stimulating ecoAomie development to all ajeaj of the state As we must 40 our part to providing a means by which economic development sm become reality it then wiyj be up to yje voters to join bands with their elected by approving the lor their commitment to a tetter
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