Conine's article represents one more attempt to turn the public sentiment away from the "reasonably" fair system of tort recovery that plaintiffs now enjoy; it's just another "Monday morning lawyer-bashing" job.
Conine's assertion that insurance companies have experienced their worst underwriting losses since 1906 fails to address the truth of the matter. Liability insurers have suffered, presumably, above average losses for two reasons. One is that liability insurers undercharged on premiums, for competitive reasons, in the late 1970s and early '80s, with the idea of making up the shortfall through higher returns on their investments. When the rates of return declined, the net losses of the insurers rose.
The second reason insurers have suffered such large losses is one that I have seldom if ever seen raised by those who seek to destroy our present system of fair compensation to victims--insurance company mismanagement and ineptitude. Conine is certainly welcome to come to my office and to see how insurance companies have wasted literally hundreds of thousands of dollars on cases in which I have represented plaintiffs--and I'm a sole practitioner!
JAMES P. OSMAN