How common are frivolous lawsuits? Have you ever heard of one happening in Chattanooga or Hamilton County? Do you know someone that has won a frivolous lawsuit? Most of those wild cases are usually in California or New York. We have common sense people here in Tennessee and we usually don’t see those types of suits. Just because cases get filed out doesn’t mean they will ever see a jury or be carried out.
One thing the public doesn’t realize is that there are many mechanisms in place to keep people from suing frivolously. One rule is called rule 11, meaning that if a lawyer takes on a case that is not merit based he could end up losing his license among other penalties. There are summary dismissals, if a judge thinks it does not warrant a jury then a jury won’t see the case. Finally, what the public doesn’t see, if there is a big verdict, is it collectible or does it go to appeals where the verdict can be overturned.
What is a tort? A tort is a civil wrong or negligence. Similar to rear ending someone in your car, you know that you can’t do that and that is a simple form of negligence. If I cause injury or damage to someone then hopefully my insurance will pay that for me.