Corporations are hijacking the legal process

Corporate America and its insurance companies are trying to get something for nothing.  Other than a catchy title, the so- called "Common Sense Legal Reforms Act" (House HR10), which just passed the U.S. House of Representatives and is heading toward the Senate, promises to severely limit the accountability of manufacturers of defective products.  Consequently, consumers who are injured by these defective products sacrifice their historical right to a reasoned jury verdict.

Essentially, the bill places a cap on certain kinds of damages and has a "loser pays" provision.  What this means is, in the event you are unsuccessful in your lawsuit , you will owe the prevailing side their attorney's fees and costs in certain situations.  Designed to smoke out frivolous claims,  the reality of the provision will tip the scales in favor of the wealthier litigant.  The indigent party of one of modest means will simply not be able to afford to take the risk. Survival of the richest in its purest form.

What's in  for the consumers who will be giving up their right to certain damages?

As part of the "Contract with America," why are there no provisions for higher safety standards to protect American consumers? Lower prices? Lower insurance premiums?

If the manufacturer is not held completely accountable for its actions or inactions, what incentives are there to build safer products?   Does anyone believe that if it was not for the large and justified jury verdicts, General Motors would have acted on their knowledge that their cars exploded on side impact?  How about the Ford Pinto, which exploded upon rear impact?

If dead customers don't motivate, and the threat of a substantial verdict is eliminated, what possible incentive would corporate America have to care?  To be sure, a small fraction of trial lawyers may lose income, which many perceive to be a great benefit, but at what costs? Let's not let the current anti lawyer cloud our judgment.  If the proposed legislation and other laws on the horizon, make it impractical and difficult for lawyers to take injury cases, the ultimate loser is the innocent victim.

Other than helping companies earn more money and sticking it to the trial lawyer, why is this bill necessary?  Has anyone offered up any evidence whatsoever that there is in fact, a "lawsuit crisis' that would require this type of draconian measure which will insulate corporate America and neglect parties from full accountability?

Quite to the contrary, the actual facts reveal that there is no lawsuit crisis.  For example, a study in 1992 by the National Center for State Courts found that  corporate defendants were more than individual defendants to win their cases.

Furthermore, an analysis of jury verdicts published in 1992 by the center for state courts concluded that personal injury lawsuits, which include medical negligence and product liability cases, now make up less than 7 percent of all civil cases and the number of tort filings declining every year since 1990.

What about the skyrocketing verdicts?  The critics of the civil justice system portray the relatively rare large negligence verdicts as routine.

The largest body of information regarding negligence verdicts is that assembled by the Rand Corporation Institute for Civil Justice, which is funded largely by insurance companies and business interests.  Researchers who studied reported verdicts over a 25-year period concluded the negligence verdicts overall, have remained even with inflation.

Moreover, research by the Governmental Accounting Office and Consumer Federation of America has determined that those high verdicts awarded by a jury are not arbitrarily given.  Instead, they reflect the severity of the Plaintiff's injuries and the cost of the medical care provided.

Product liability claims, researchers have found, had only 355 punitive damage verdicts during the entire period of 1965 to 1990.  The majority of the punitive damages awards were reduced by the judge.

Even if there was a lawsuit crisis, would protecting the negligent wrongdoer and sacrificing the innocent victim be the appropriate measure ? That would be like legalizing assault and battery to ease the burden on our criminal justice system.

No matter what political views we have, we are all consumers.  We have an obligation to ourselves to consider the facts and consequences of important legislation as well as the motives of those who seek our blind approval with catchy phrases and attacks on easy targets.

Personal injury lawyers and the civil justice system were born of need, not greed.  It is the fear of being held accountable that provides motivation to create safer products.  These safety considerations are reflected in the decreases in claims.  The civil justice system can be improved but we should not blow up the building because the plumbing needs repair.


 

Client Testimonials

Attorney David Goldman has been exceptional in the process of helping me through the case. He has always been easy to reach, whether by phone or email, and has thorough knowledge and explains clearly in depth so you feel safe and confident in your lawyer

I used Michael Babboni and his paralegal, Nicole Moore for a legal matter. They went above and beyond my expectations. During the entire process there was constant communication with both Michael and Nicole. They were extremely organized and on top of my case, which I am very grateful for. Michael truly had my best interests at heart and he was very genuine. I plan on referring Michael to all family and friends and will continue to use him in the future.

I dealt most with Mr. Fernandez. I didn’t know a lot about this process. He took the time to speak with me individually, in person, to explain everything. It was very helpful to actually know and understand the process and what to expect. He closed my case quickly, which was nice that it was not prolonged! I appreciated his hard work and getting me what I felt I deserved after my car accident. I highly recommend him to anyone who needs an honest and reliable lawyer to assist you with your case!

I hired Mr. Walsh after an automobile accident this past March. He and his entire staff were extremely professional. They kept me informed every step of the way and settled my case in a timely manner. Thank you so much for your help.

 

Law Offices Near You

Sarasota Office

Sarasota

941-954-1234

2822 University Parkway Sarasota Florida 34243

Bradenton Office

Bradenton

941-752-7000

5291 Office Park Blvd. Bradenton Florida 34203

St. Petersburg Office

St. Petersburg

727-381-9200

6446 Central Avenue St. Petersburg Florida 33707

Lakewood Ranch Office

Sarasota

941-330-0088

9040 Town Center Pkwy, Lakewood Ranch Florida 34202

Venice Office

Venice

941-496-9555

3986 S. Tamiami Trail Venice Florida 34293

Englewood Office

Englewood

941-474-4800

2960 S. McCall Rd Englewood Florida 34224

Punta Gorda Office

Punta Gorda

941-613-1141

122 Nesbit St, Suite 113, Punta Gorda Florida 33950

Port Charlotte Office

Port Charlotte

941-613-1141

3986 Tamiami Trail Port Charlotte Florida 33952

Arcadia Office

Arcadia

863-494-0122

10 South DeSoto Avenue Arcadia Florida 34266

Fort Myers Office

Fort Myers

239-332-0770

8359 Beacon Blvd Fort Myers Florida 33907

Lakeland Office

Lakeland

863-683-5600

5137 S. Lakeland Dr. Lakeland Florida 33813
 

Get personal attention from a lawyer with decades of experience.


 
×