"While Texas has worked hard to shed its reputation as the country's lawsuit abuse poster child, we appear to have some rogue, hellhole jurisdictions that refuse to acknowledge the reforms. These courts levy million - and even billion - dollar verdicts and invent procedural rules that fly in the face of providing equal justice under the law. Why should the rest of Texas or the country care? Simple. Rulings in these rogue courts often have national implications because they can result in excessive awards that bankrupt employers and take away American jobs."

- Commentary by Bill Summers, Rio Grande Valley Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse,
San Antonio Express-News, February 1, 2006

Deadly Caution

"The [drug] approval process is broken - but not in the way most people think &. Simply put, the need for certainty in drug approval is killing people. Excessive caution is delaying the availability of potentially helpful treatments for cancer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, and a host of other ailments; it's slowing the absorption of new knowledge and diagnostic tools into medical practice; and it's discouraging the pursuit of vaccines and next- generation antibiotics that could save tens of millions of lives." Fortune, February 20, 2006 Read More »

Crackdown on Personal Injury Lawyer Advertising

"Maybe it's the start of something good. The New York State Bar Association is calling on courts to monitor lawyers' advertising. A committee of Connecticut lawyers is proposing constraints on ads that, as one judge delicately put it, 'exceed the boundaries of appropriate content.' And the majority leader of the West Virginia Senate is introducing a bill to control lawyer advertising that is 'almost shameful.' Almost? Try to find a yellow pages anywhere in the country that isn't plastered with full-page lawyer ads, inside and out &. But advertising is just a chip in the mosaic of entrepreneurial excess by the plaintiff's bar." The Examiner (DC), February 12, 2006 Read More »

"The Law is Not a Lottery Ticket"

"No doubt members of the Kanawha County jury felt sympathy for Lucinda Kay Cutlip. The former Division of Highways worker suffers from multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells, an incurable but treatable disease. In 2002, she filed a lawsuit against her employer, saying her exposure to the exhaust of diesel engines caused her illness &. As much as jury members might have been sympathetic to Cutlip, they could not connect the diesel fumes to the cancer. The science just was not there &. Junk science & should not be the basis for huge jury awards. The law is not a lottery ticket." Charleston Daily Mail, January 25, 2006 Read More »

Witnesses For Hire

"On Dec. 20, 1996, a 10-year-old boy racing on a bicycle in Havana was struck by a pickup and tossed 40 feet, landing on a grassy roadside &.. The $30 million suit went to trial, ending after two weeks with a settlement of more than $4 million - the exact amount remained confidential - though records show that nearly $2 million went to the plaintiff's attorneys for fees and costs; $995,774 to Jones[the victim]; $91,611 to his mother &. Ten years later, physicians connected with defendants in Jones' subsequent malpractice lawsuit began reviewing the credentials of the plaintiff's so-called expert witnesses. Their counterattack led to three of the experts being expelled or suspended from their professional neurological and radiology associations." Tallahassee Democrat, February 12, 2006 Read More »


The Maryland State Assembly is considering several pieces of legislation that would help restore balance and fairness to the state's medical liability system. The House Judiciary and Senate Judicial Proceedings Committees will hold hearings in March on legislation that would enact standards for admitting expert witness testimony and scientific evidence in the courtroom and limit non-economic damages to $500,000.

The Illinois House Judiciary Committee defeated a bill that would have limited "venue shopping" in the state, a practice that personal injury lawyers use to look for favorable, local courts to file their lawsuits.


The Stats

59: Percentage of silica claims filed in a Broward County, Florida court case that were found to have been previously filed as asbestos claims. The National Law Journal, February 7, 2006

21: Number of states the American Medical Association has designated as states facing a medical liability crisis, with the recent addition of Tennessee. Nashville Business Journal, February 14, 2006

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