“When a doctor takes the Fifth Amendment before a congressional committee rather than defend his diagnoses of thousands of patients, you know lawmakers are on to something. The tort litigation industry has made a mint on asbestos-related claims and has been trying to do the same on silica, an industrial material whose fine particles can cause lung disease. But its greed has finally caught up to it. Doctors who the litigators have relied upon for years are disavowing their medical judgments or refusing to testify, and the taint of fraud finally has Congress, the courts and prosecutors paying attention.”

Editorial, St. Petersburg Times, July 23, 2006

Breathing-Mask Makers Look to Congress for Lawsuit Relief

“Six companies that make respiratory masks want Congress to protect them from lawsuits, saying such a step would ensure that they could meet production demands in the event of a terrorist attack or flu pandemic. The companies wrote a letter last week to President Bush arguing that 'unfettered liability costs will dramatically affect our nation's ability to respond to an avian flu pandemic.' The issue primarily affects N-95 respirators, disposable masks with filters that are used by first responders and healthcare workers. According to the coalition, more than 326,000 claims have been filed against the companies from 2002 and 2004. Before that, the companies faced an average of 200 cases a year. Litigation costs now take up 90 percent of the revenue from mask sales, according to the coalition.” The Hill, July 5, 2006
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Trial Lawyers Bar Backs Tougher Rules for Attorney Ads

“New York's Academy of Trial Lawyers says the proposed tough new rules on attorney advertising are welcome and overdue. In fact, the 500-member group contends, if anything they do not go far enough. 'We need to take back the profession and restore some dignity so people respect and understand the causes that we stand for and realize that they are legitimate, appropriate and meritorious,' said the group's president, Robert E. Lahm of Syracuse … Last month, the presiding justices agreed on sweeping reforms to the disciplinary rules as they relate to attorney advertising. The proposed rules, which are expected to take effect Nov. 1, impose new time, place and manner restrictions on lawyer solicitations.” New York Law Journal, July 18, 2006
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Legal Enterprisers Distort Reality

“Legal entrepreneurship, when lawyers are for all practical purposes their own clients, is a growing phenomenon and an increasingly troublesome one. The most pernicious instances are in the area of tort law. Last year, Texas federal Judge Janis Graham Jack exposed the scam of lawyer manufactured silicosis claims.” Arizona Republic, July 12, 2006
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Legislative Update

The U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce's Subcommittee on Health held hearings this month on innovative solutions to solving America's healthcare lawsuit crisis.
Read the transcripts of witness testimony from the hearings »

Florida Stop Lawsuit Abuse Executive Director Slade O'Brien highlighted the state's reputation as a hot destination for litigation and junk science tourism in an op-ed published in the Tallahassee Democrat. O'Brien noted that "each year, Florida's courts play host to personal injury lawyers from far and wide, stirring together a toxic brew of lawsuits, litigants and so-called expert witnesses who are ready to provide flavor in the form of junk science." Read O'Brien's full commentary »

The Stats

46: Percentage of practicing physicians in Massachusetts who say that they have altered or limited their medical services because of the fear of being sued. "2006 Physician Workforce Study," Massachusetts Medical Society, June 27, 2006

11: Hours it took one South Florida hospital to find a neurosurgeon to treat a woman experiencing a brain hemorrhage and blood clot because of the critical shortage of physicians and specialists in the area. The closest neurosurgeon they could find was almost 260 miles away. "If You Land in the Emergency Room, Don't Count on Seeing a Specialist," South Florida Sun-Sentinel, July 16, 2006

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.

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