"In addition to contributing nothing to making vaccines safer, personal injury lawyers have made vaccines more expensive and less available …. [V]accine makers won't make a pandemic-influenza vaccine …. And young Americans will be able to experience firsthand just what an influenza pandemic looks like -- something that all of the lawsuits in the world won't be able to stop."

– Dr. Paul Offit, The Wall Street Journal, December 1, 2005

Lawsuit Fears Halting Flu Vaccine

"If avian flu were to pass into the general population now, the United States, like the rest of the world, would be unready …. Why is the U.S. capacity to manufacture vaccines – against seasonal influenza or any number of possible pathogens – close to nonexistent? Simple economics. Producing vaccines is a high-risk, low-reward enterprise. There is no guarantee that the huge investment necessary for research and development of vaccines is going to pay off, given fluctuating demand. And because of the breakneck speed at which companies would have to produce a vaccine once a specific health threat is identified, there is practically no time to test the serum adequately for safety. Vaccine makers would open themselves up to liability lawsuits that could destroy their companies.” Editorial, Dallas Morning News, November 21, 2005 Read More >>

Doctor Made Rich from Questionable Asbestos Screenings

"About a decade ago, a radiologist in this small town gradually stopped seeing patients and instead adopted what turned out to be a much more lucrative practice: reading X-rays full time. The doctor, Ray A. Harron, now 73 years old, reviewed as many as 150 X-rays a day, or one every few minutes, and produced medical reports for $125 each. Some of his reports supported claims by more than 75,000 people seeking compensation for lung injury caused by inhalation of asbestos. For his work, he probably earned millions of dollars over the years …. [I]n the eyes of defense lawyers fighting some of those claims, Dr. Harron was not a professional rendering an independent opinion, but a vital cog in a multibillion-dollar lawsuit machine. They contend that Dr. Harron's X-ray evaluations are unreliable at best, fraudulent at worst.” New York Times, November 29, 2005 Read More >>

Flood of Vioxx Lawsuits Continues

"Talk about sore losers. On the day a New Jersey jury found that Merck & Co. properly warned users of the side effects of the painkiller Vioxx, trial lawyers went on the offensive and glossed over the fact they lost. In a tersely worded and quickly distributed e-mail to reporters, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America said the verdict didn't ‘change the facts,’ about the drug. Unfortunately, a jury thought otherwise …. [T]he trial lawyers association responded much like a child who was soundly beat on the playground but insists he's faster or stronger. Merck still faces thousands of lawsuits regarding Vioxx and the trial lawyers will pursue them with vigor. After all, when there's a lot of money at stake not even a jury verdict will slow them down.” Editorial, Detroit News, November 5, 2005 Read More >>

The hard work of California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse groups over the past few months helped to overwhelmingly defeat Proposition 79, an initiative on the state ballot in November. Proposition 79 would have let personal injury lawyers file frivolous shakedown lawsuits every time a prescription is filled – without evidence, clients or proof of harm – simply by claiming the price of the drug is too high.

Prompted by U.S. District Court Judge Janis Graham Jack’s findings of false silicosis screenings, the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce oversight investigations subcommittee has started an investigation into thousands of asbestos and silica lawsuits by apparently uninjured plaintiffs. The committee has started its inquiry by agreeing to subpoena four doctors who provided lawyers with thousands of these questionable diagnoses.

The Illinois State Senate is considering a bill that would strengthen the rules on where lawsuits can be filed in the state. The measure would limit the practice of "venue shopping” that personal injury lawyers use to look for favorable, local courts to file their lawsuits. Illinois has long been known as housing some of these favorable venues, with Madison and St. Clair counties as top-ranked "Judicial Hellholes.”

The Stats

27.5: Percentage increase in Caesarean section births in the United States from 2003 to 2004 alone, with lawsuit fears a cause that has been attributed to the increase in this type of delivery. Associated Press, November 17, 2005

7,000: Estimated number of Vioxx-related personal injury lawsuits drug maker Merck presently faces across the country, a number that continues to rise. Associated Press, November 11, 2005

1: Percentage decrease in medical malpractice claims over the past year, according to a study by Aon Risk Consultants. This is the first time the study has reported a decrease in claims against both physicians and hospitals. "2005 Hospital Professional Liability and Physician Liability Benchmark Analysis,” AON Risk Consultants, November 2005

Take Action

Stop dangerous and irresponsible personal injury lawyer advertising!

Sick of Lawsuits needs your help. Send a letter TODAY urging the Federal Trade Commission to pursue stricter guidelines on personal injury lawyer advertising that uses misleading, inflammatory and baseless claims to scare consumers. Tell them you're not going to stand for personal injury lawyers' scare tactics.

Join the Fight
Contact Your Legislator
Spread the Word
Recruit a Friend