For MEB, forever.
Of course torts and the law of damages from which they arise are usually State matters, and there has in fact been rather a lot of effort to lower legally generated costs in the field of products liability, and most states in fact have started capping medical malpractice awards to a point, and, doctors do kill people sometimes too.
Then again, cerebral palsy is a birth defect it seems pretty clearly, that has seriously hurt the OB/GYN field, if that won't solve the price of healthcare problem by its lonesome, a field in which "every little bit helps" is probably as good as it gets.
But as to a version of tort refrom, suppose that the plaintiff, and only the plaintiff in personal injury cases had a choice of legal rule to adapt, as to tort reform, in which there is generally speaking a balance of interests between the allegedly injured party and society as a whole.
Every time there is a peronal injury or medical malpractice settlement, it's not free, as it usually comes from insurance premiums paid by others, in which a more litigious environment has its costs and benefits.
A more litigious environment has its costs, because ceteris paribus, it raises insurance premiums and therefore costs in general, even as it also has benefits as to "incentivizing" safer behavior on the part of those best equipped to bear risk and/or mitigate risk, or so goes the theory. It also incentivizes not carrying insurance at all in the automotive field, as it's not really that easy to collect a judgement against a person who doesn't have assets, which results in another form of cost-shifting, as to uninsured motorist premiums.
That can have some weird side effects, as to in many states one can't drive legally with a judgement against you, which leads to the dreaded "I have to get to work but don't have a license cycle" that's not really very efficient.
That in itself isn't a trivial issue, if not a federal one of course either.
The Left tends to like the story of trial lawyers fighting the Big Bad Insurance Company and the Horrible Corporation, while the Right tends to like the story of the Greedy Trial Lawyer, when the reality is somewhat more like the cartoon with the Sheep Dog and the Wolf, if in the context of legal rules.
In the Sheep Dog and the Wolf Cartoon, the Sheep Dog and the Wolf clock in, after having breakfast together. They fight no-holds barred over the Sheep, and then go have a beer after trying to kill each other all day, as it's just business, the Sheep Dog being the Sheep Dog and the Wolf being the Wolf.
If you've seen a trial lawyer firsthand, you wouldn't have the easy stereotypes of the Right, especially as to professionalism, if you wouldn't have illusions of the Left about the distribution of cases or effects either.
When someone on disability has a slip and fall with soft tissue injury... suspicions arise, if they don't get a lot of money if they can't show a good case and damages, although the doctors game that system too.
(I will confess to having seen the Starbucks slip and fall for seven million, with a chiro, and wondered, "Was that bad karma," as you don't get seven million without being a really good actor, or really, really getting hurt, like permanently disabled hurt.)
A slip and fall accident at a water park or pool might be valid, but if its not, that's expensive for society as a whole, and not just financially.
For a semi-trivial but also not trivial example, as a country, we aren't as good in diving as we used to be, because it's more expensive to insure pools with diving boards, which at the margin means people pulled diving boards out of a lot of pools, and so some people didn't come to love it, even as people do in fact suffer horrific injuries sometimes diving too, as to there always being a balance in such things, which lets one consider the proposed choice of legal rule.
Having everyone walk around with too much of a sense of total safety being expected to be the norm might have its own risks as to people not paying attention to what they are doing, especially as from automotive safety, we seem to be programmed almost to have a base level of risk that we need, if it varies by person too (threshold of arousal of central nervous system).
Some on the Right would like to adapt the "English Rule," in which the loser of a suit pays all legal fees.
People on the Left correctly anticipate that insurers and Deep Pockets in general will like English Rule, because the upfront cost of litigation will deter many lawyers from taking cases, some of which in fact have merit, if not all of them either; justice is always imperfect.
On the other hand, if a trial lawyer can send a letter of representation to an insurance company after an alleged tort with zero risk and at 33 per cent upside on the contingency fee for every dollar given to the plaintiff, and without a trial, that creates something of an extortion racket at times, if it also gets people legal representation that they otherwise couldn't afford either, something the Right doesn't take seriously enough.
As to an annecdote, I used to clean floors at the now defunct Drug Emprium in Norristown, PA, as to the realites of the dreaded slip and fall accident. I warned the store that the floor was being polished in one aisle to an ice-rink like status, because the buffer was impressing the detritus from the detergents into the floor wax.
It was also an old store in a neighborhood that needed any store, as to costs and benefits of risk mitigation in life. If you raise insurance premiums on businesses in marginal areas, that might be good for the winner of the lottery of a lawsuit, but come at everyone else in the neighborhood's expense, employees especially.
As to the annecdote, someone totally predictably fell, and generated a lawsuit. The upside of that was I got to go downtown and sit in a nice office building, watch an Associate from a Big Defense Firm sleep through the deposition, "I went to Villanova for slip and falls?" after listening with interest to a long soliloquy by the lead defense attorney about how he still had mixed feelings about being a lawyer, as opposed to a doctor. The grass is always greener, lawyers too.
He wasn't a bad guy, and neither was the other side, although the amount of economic activity in that field is not small, as can be seen by the "Cochran Law firm" (he went national, even after he was dead) advertisements on buses, especially in poorer neighborhoods, as to the "lottery effect" many on the Right correctly note, and to a point complain about, even as in my slip and fall, there was not only negligence, but close to the dreaded "wantonness" required for punitive damages, as to being advised for so long of a risk and doing nothing about it. It also was a marginal store barely surviving as it was, as to why efficiency in that field is important. Drug Emporium seemed like a Deep Pocket, but no one's pockets are infintitely deep either.
Now in America, we like the jury trial, for good reason.
It is one of the ways that citizens learn about their society by actually governing, in the case of personal injury law in theory using the tort mechanism to achieve ends that would otherwise have to be done by direct government order as to safety regulations, which of course also exist.
People do get hurt, and have a right to be compensated, although not so much that it costs society as a whole more than it is worth.
As to the argument then, what you want is a system that induces so far as possible good selection by attorneys as to cases, in the sense of someone being actually harmed, and also mitigating risk in the process that actually needs to be mitigated.
Although people who like the English Rule object to the way we use the contingency fee arrangement, in which the plaintiff's attorney and client agree on a fee, usually at least 33 per cent of the settlement, and at trial up to 50 per cent, without any penalty for coming close to filing a nuisance lawsuit unless you can prove that, not easy at all, they also underrate the fact that many poor people wouldn't have legal representation at all if there prepayment were required.
(There is even an industry devoted to cash advances against settlements, and also an industry devoted to financing medical care against injuries too, as to why being careful about "reforming" anything in life.)
But suppose within a reasonable discovery period, the plaintiff had to make a choice of legal rules under which to proceed.
Under rule A, as in worker's compensation and veterans cases already, contingency fees would be capped to 15-20 per cent, if in the case of personal injury, having that cap only kick in at a $10,000 threshold and then adjusted for inflation thereafter would preserve the "little cases" that aren't so little, if they are good, as to inducing better selection that identifies actual problems and therefore incentivizes their correction better.
Under Rule B, one would chose the English Rule, but with unbounded contingency fees for the attorney.
The plaintiff would chose, as that's a fair recognition of the fact that corporations are in fact more powerful than individuals, if corporations also don't grow money on trees either.
Contingency fees aren't all bad, as they in fact align lawyer and client interests in many ways, if as to selection of cases, they might well weigh risks too much in favor of settlement after de facto "hold-up" litigation.
(The current order also is gamed by people knowing to say they are hurt, although in automotive having more payment for loss of use, as to people being "upside down" in their car, might mitigate that too, and it is very inconvenient in the United States to not have a car.)
Attorneys might not like that, although as a signalling mechanism, chosing the English rule would be a very powerful bargaining tool, and also might induce less settlement and more actual trials as to what cases are actually worth than is currently the case, while preserving poor people's access to attorneys in matters that are small, if not small if it's you.