SACRAMENTO – The American Tort Reform Association and Sick of Lawsuits today released a national poll showing 90 percent of Americans feel lawsuit abuse is a problem, and 73 percent of voters are more likely to support a candidate who advocates for liability lawsuit reform. The survey also showed that 88 percent of Americans want safeguards put in place to protect small businesses from abusive lawsuits that could put them out of business.
"When small businesses like mine are hit with an abusive lawsuit, they are often forced to delay expanding or hiring new workers to pay sky-high legal fees," said CALA Statewide Advisory Committee Member Travis Hausauer, owner of Sacramento's iconic Squeeze Inn restaurant. "Americans understand that reforming our legal system to protect small businesses will help create jobs."
These findings mirror what leaders of California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA) have heard from small business owners and community leaders during its "Create Jobs Not Lawsuits" tour. The tour started in February in Lodi, CA, and has held events with lawsuit abuse victims, concerned citizens and legal reform advocates in cities throughout the state, including San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, Fresno, and San Jose.
The results of the national survey parallel those of a statewide survey released in 2011 by CALA: both show widespread voter concern about the effect of abusive lawsuits on the economy and job creation. The national poll shows that 72 percent of Americans agree that the nation's lawsuit liability system makes it harder for employers to do business and succeed.
"We hear stories every day from small business owners about the negative effects abusive lawsuits have on their ability to stay in business and hire new workers," said Tom Scott, Executive Director for California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse. "Americans clearly understand the struggles of these small business owners and want safeguards put in place to protect them from harassing, greed-driven lawsuits. And they're willing to vote for candidates who support these protections."
With November's election only a few months away, this poll demonstrates the need for candidates to make legal reform a central part of their plans to create jobs and improve the economy.
About the Survey
The results in this summary are based on a national survey among 1,013 U.S. voters conducted by Luce Research by telephone from July 11-19, 2012. The interviews include both landline and mobile telephone numbers. The data were weighted by age, ethnicity and region to ensure a representative sampling of voters by all demographics, including gender, education and party identification. The sampling error for this study is ± 3.1 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence interval. The survey was commissioned by the American Tort Reform Association and Sick of Lawsuits.
About the Organizations
The American Tort Reform Association is the only national organization dedicated exclusively to tort and liability reform through public education and the enactment of legislation. ATRA's membership includes nonprofits, small and large companies, as well as state and national trade, business, and professional associations. California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA) is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to educating the public about the negative effects of lawsuit abuse and challenging those who abuse our legal system for personal gain. Sick of Lawsuits is a nonpartisan, grassroots campaign of Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse with more than 165,000 supporters across the country including doctors, health care professionals, small business owners, attorneys and people from every walk of life.