Friday, October 08, 2004

Tort Reform, A Frivolous Campaign Issue

Whenever I hear the Bush Boys and Republicans complain about frivolous lawsuits and the need for tort reform I just shake my head at the propaganda and realize that if they lie long enough and often enough someday people will believe it. The facts do not back them up.

It is not individuals suing corporations that file the most lawsuits or have the most cases declared frivilous, it is corporations that bring lawsuits that lead those categories, by far.

Corporations have higher rates of judge declared frivolous lawsuits. In fact a very public case was dismissed as frivolous not that long again. Remember when FOX News filed a case against writer/comedian/radio host Al Franken for using the phrase "fair and balanced" on his book cover? The case was literally laughed out of court, frivolous.

I link to a study done by Public Citizen which found that;

*U.S.Businesses file four times More lawsuits than private citizens and are sanctioned much more often for frivolous suits.
By way of comparison, the number of American consumers (281 million) outnumbers the number of businesses in America (7 million) by 40 times.

*Federal judges punish businesses far more often than trial attorneys representing plaintiffs in tort claims for tying up the court with frivolous claims or defenses.

*Some of the loudest voices for restricting the legal rights of consumers and patients also are the biggest users of the court system.  For example, claiming that it is inundated with class action lawsuits, the insurance industry has led the charge for federal legislation that would restrict the rights of consumers to bring such cases. Yet in Cook County, Ill., insurance companies filed about 8,000 lawsuits in 2002 — 35 times the number of class actions filed there by individuals that year.

It turns out that the claim of "greedy trial lawyers" should really be "greedy corporations and corporate lawyers." But you can bet we'll hear George Bush in tonights debate bring up the tort reform propaganda once again. And when he does you can also bet it will prefaced with nothing in the way of statistics to back up his rhetoric.

Tort refrom is a frivolous campaign issue. Seeing as citizens don't file nearly the amount of frivolous lawsuits as do corporations, wouldn't it be nice if we could start suing politicians for lieing to us? A huge class action lawsuit against Bush for the many outright lies he will be telling tonight for his own gain, not the citizens.


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