Tort Reform

Charitable Punishment


David Barnett

Published in Forbes Magazine, Readers Say, 4 December 1995


Re: "Torture by tort" (Nov.6). An arbitrary cap on punitive damages is a most unimaginative cure for the abuse. There is a much more elegant solution which preserves the ability to punish truly egregious behavior. By definition, neither the plaintiff nor his lawyer deserves the windfall of the punitive award. Why not have a rule that the punitive portion go into, say, a charitable fund? This would remove the economic incentive to press a punitive claim.

Austin, Tex.

© David M. Barnett


This page revised 6 July 1999