Reminder: Texas Governor Takes Your Questions on Lawsuit Abuse

Governor Rick Perry will host www.SickofLawsuits.orgís first online discussion tomorrow, Wednesday, March 23, 2005 at 1 pm (ET)/12 pm (CT)/11 am (MT)/10 am (PT). Visit to submit your questions for Governor Perry. Join us tomorrow for the live Web chat, and ask your own questions, as Governor Perry discusses the ways in which lawsuit abuse affects our healthcare.


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 Volume XXIII March 22, 2005 

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"Asbestos litigation is a continuing crisis &. The current system is irrational and unfair. The problem is compounded by an elite class of trial lawyers who have turned asbestos litigation into an entrepreneurial pursuit. Worse still, the hundreds of millions of dollars siphoned by the trial bar are unavailable to compensate suffering asbestos victims." - Dick Armey, former U.S. House Majority Leader, The Washington Times, March 6, 2005

Lawsuit Abuse News

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Drug Twilight Zone
"The biotech partners Biogen and Elan pulled their drug from the U.S. market following just two reports (including one fatality) of serious complications possibly linked to the compound &. Welcome to the twilight zone of pharmaceutical development post-Vioxx, in which the natural hyper-caution of regulators is exceeded only by the hyper-caution of terrified drug makers &. On the face of it the Tysabri withdrawal appears to be an overreaction that will harm MS patients in the near term, and all of us who depend on a healthy drug-development culture over the long run &. There's plenty of blame to go around here, starting with the trial lawyers and their climate of fear &. It's obvious that no one benefits from this climate of drug-development fear." Wall Street Journal, March 2, 2005

Helping Real Victims
"Amazingly, one of the biggest burdens on our civil justice system today is not lawsuits over actual injuries but lawsuits filed by plaintiffs who are not ill solicited by personal injury lawyers looking to strike it rich. Decades after the first case was filed in Beaumont alleging harm from asbestos exposure, these cases are still flooding into our nation's courts.

No state is feeling the burden of this litigation landslide more than Texas where as many as 40 percent of all claims nationally have been filed in recent years &. These cases burden the courts, send more employers into bankruptcy, erase tens of thousands of jobs from the economy and, worst of all, offer no relief for real asbestos victims." Connie Scott, executive director of Bay Area Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse, Corpus Christi Caller Times, March 17, 2005

Guilty Verdicts in Fraud Charges
"A woman described as a minor participant in the Fen-Phen fraud case was sentenced Thursday to 10 months in prison &. Evelyn Malone is among 12 Fayette residents charged in the IRS/FBI investigation of false claims filed to receive money from a 1999 lawsuit against the makers of Fen-Phen. All 12 have pleaded guilty &. Each defendant is accused of receiving $250,000 from a $400 million settlement fund for individuals injured taking the drug, which was pulled off the market in 1997. Eva Johnson, another of the 12 defendants & had a prescription for Fen-Phen, but allowed relatives and others to use it to make fraudulent claims, according to court records. The federal investigation into the filing of phony claims is ongoing and more arrests are expected." Jackson Clarion-Ledger, March 11, 2005

Sick Of Lawsuits

ABC News reporter John Stossel addressed Sick of Lawsuits supporters at events held this month by Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse groups in Corpus Christi and the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Stossel spoke about the negative effects of frivolous lawsuits brought by personal injury lawyers. "[Trial lawyers] have so gamed the system that they attack the people we need most; that's where the big money is to be made. They attack the paramedics, the drug makers, the medical device makers, the hospitals - the people we need most," Stossel said.

Legislative Update

The state House and Senate have passed bills that would limit punitive damages to $500,000 and lower the limit on pain and suffering damages in medical liability cases to $350,000. The bills are now being considered by Governor Matt Blunt, who has advocated for these reforms. - The Associated Press, March 16, 2005

South Carolina
The state Senate passed comprehensive civil justice reform legislation by nearly unanimous approval. The bill has been sent to the House for approval before going to the governor. The reforms include limits on forum shopping, sanctions for filing frivolous lawsuits, and joint and several liability reforms. - The Associated Press, March 8, 2005

Our Broken Healthcare Liability System

The Stats

One month: The average amount of time 40% of woman living in Orlando, Florida have to wait to receive a mammogram due to litigation fears among providers. "Cost Concerns Have Many Florida Women Forgoing Breast Exams," South Florida Sun-Sentinel, March 15, 2005

$11.1 billion: Overall money awarded in the 100 largest jury verdicts in the United States, according to the National Law Journal's annual review. "Smaller at the Top," Daily Business Review, March 2, 2005

60: Percentage of corporate attorneys who rank state court systems in the U.S. as fair or poor. "2005 U.S. Chamber of Commerce State Liability Systems Ranking Study," U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform, March 8, 2005

For press inquiries, please contact Rossanna Salazar at: 1-800-476-1442

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