...then BP and the Gulf oil spill is the perfect illustration.
Supporters of "Tort Reform" want huge corporations, one's just like BP, that cause enormous destruction and suffering to never have to pay their fair share for that destruction and suffering. They want those corporations to be able to behave as recklessly as they like in their pursuit of profits, and never have to pay the price when that recklessness has the expectable results.
It is that simple.
In 1990 Congress passed a law that (among other good things) put a $75 million cap on economic costs caused by oil spills. That means that if this spill goes on for, say, three months, or six months, or a year, and ends up costing Gulf communities and businesses $100 billion—BP won't have to pay for that damage. They, by federal law, would only have to pay $75 million.
This is exactly what supporters of "Tort Reform" want to do. They want to cap damages that huge, reckless corporations pay when their recklessness has expected disastrous results.
It's like if Joe "Drunk Driver" Johnson got a cap of $100 on automobile accident damages. That is exactly what "Tort Reform" is.