November 04, 2006

AZ Propositions - 102

Proposition 102 - No Punitive Damages for Illegal Aliens

I definitely agree that we should not be rewarding illegal behavior by allowing those that break the law to collect huge settlements in civil lawsuits. However, I don't believe we should be awarding enormous settlements to anyone in these type of suits. The system is out of control, and no one wins but the lawyers. Compensatory damages are one thing, punitive damages are quite another.

Proposition 102 seems to treat the symptom, while ignoring the cause. Does this proposition really do anything to quell the immigrant problem? Does it help to reduce nuisance suits?

Generally, when I am unsure on a ballot measure, I default to NO. On this one, I am leaning slightly towards YES.


UPDATE: This one gets a NO

Posted by Vox at November 4, 2006 09:17 PM | TrackBack | Arizona , politics

I have to wonder what this will accomplish. If someone feels that they have been wronged to the point that they are willing to reveal themselves and get deported, they probably have a legitimate grievance.

At best, it encourages them to stay hidden; at worst, it punishes legitimate victims.

Posted by: BK at November 5, 2006 07:46 AM

I think that I am leaning toward yes mostly because of my disdain for punitive awards in general. I would like to find a way to cap those, as juries seem inclined to get more and more ridiculous with the amounts.

Compensatory damages make sense to me - you recover what you actual lost or what it cost you.

Posted by: Vox at November 5, 2006 08:03 AM

Another perspective. With this amendment, employers could not be punished for acts of negligence against illegal workers, but they could for acts against legal workers. It could encourage the hiring of illegals.

Do you really want to provide legal protection to those who hire illegal immigrants?

Posted by: BK at November 5, 2006 08:06 AM

That is a good point, but they would still be compensated for any *actual* damages they incur, just not some inflated amount on top of it.

However, since others would still be entitled to the jackpot amount, it would be a lopsided equation.

Posted by: Vox at November 5, 2006 08:31 AM

As you wrote, fix the system if it is broken.

I am not sure that the system of awarding punitive damages is broken; it may be that the publicity in a few outrageous cases has coloured our perception. I would welcome fresh, unbiased analysis before advocating reform.

In any case, I believe that this amendment is ill advised.

Posted by: BK at November 5, 2006 08:52 AM

First of all, I love that you are posting all of these with your vote.

Second, I'm actually voting yes on this one.

Posted by: Lori at November 6, 2006 08:54 PM