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Understanding the Hypocrisy of Those in the “Tort Reform” Debate

The attorneys at our firm care are about justice. This is obviously a cliche statement, particularly coming from a group of professionals working on the side of plaintiffs in the civil justice system. However, it is important to re-iterate that principle, because so often arguments about medical malpractice attorneys, the civil law generally ,and patient’s rights advocates are based on generic claims that seem to paint a very different picture.

This is most evident when it comes to tort reform discussions. Considering it is a hot-button political isssue, most community members have heard about it and most would come up with an opinion on the issue if pressed. Unfortuantely, the arguments made in favor of it are usually very general and with little recognition of the underlying principle in which all attorneys are drilled: justice.
In the most generic arguments, tort reform pits businesses struggling to survive against greedy community members seeking to unfairly make a quick buck at the expense of job creators. In fact, some of the nation’s largest advocacy groups, like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, seem to present this image often–convincing many community members to give up their own legal rights for some vague idea of communal “benefits” that never actually come.

Our legal team believes strongly in fighting against those wrong-headed claims. We can have a debate about these issues, but it needs involve oppenness and honesty. Sadly, we have had far too little of that in recent years. To correct the imbalance we need direct, honest facts shared to rebut the often skewed claims of big interests on the other side, like the U.S Chamber. Fortunately, some supporters of basic justice are taking up the charge. For example, take a moment to check out a slideshow from the American Association for Justice that lays out some hard truths about the effect of various U.S. Chamber actions and positions.

For decades the U.S. Chamber, propped up by large corporations, led the charge to cut back as many regulations as possible. These regulations, of course, were mostly designed to keep community member safe and ensure these mega-industries did not act in ways that caused damage society-wide. Yet, in a brazen act of hypocrisy, those same big industries were the first to ask for a government “handout” when the financial collapse occurred. Apparently government action is only good when it help those industries and not the everyday American.

The slideshow also points out how the U.S. Chamber spent a staggering $226 million on various lobbying efforts over a single decade to restrict the legal rights of community members. The goal of that lobbying was to make it harder (or in some case impossible) for those hurt by dangerous products or others hurt by the actions of big business. Combined with a push to deregulation, this fight against legal rights is a double-blow to the well-being of all of us. It results in companies able to make products with less focus on safety, while, at the same time, gaining immunity from legal claims which might hold them accountable for the harms those lack of safety standards cause.

We encourage you to view the entire slideshow to get a fuller glimpse of how the actions of groups like the U.S. Chamber are actually working to harm the country.

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