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 Volume XVIII October 26, 2004 

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"Vaccines are the one area of medicine where trial lawyers are almost completely responsible for the problem. No one can plausibly point a finger at insurance companies, drug companies or doctors. Lawyers have won the vaccine game so completely that nobody wants to play." – William Tucker, fellow at the Discovery Institute, in "La Grippe of the Trial Lawyers," The Weekly Standard, October 25, 2004

Lawsuit Abuse News

More lawsuit abuse news in Sick Of Lawsuits

Personal Injury Lawyers on the Hunt
"The day after the arthritis drug Vioxx was recalled, at least a dozen law firms placed advertisements with Charleston newspapers seeking victims. Anthony Majestro said his Charleston firm had Vioxx-related calls even before they placed an ad. 'Our firm has a history of representing people injured as a result of defective drugs. We've handled cases on fen-phen, Oxycontin, Baycol and others.' Bill Bissett, executive director of Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse, said the rush to snag legal clients was predictable. 'When this aggressive advertising follows this kind of situation, it just seems like lawyers see this as a rich seam they can mine…. When people see the court system as more of a lottery than a way to hear legitimate concerns, that worries us.'" Charleston Daily Mail, October 13, 2004

I-LAW Takes Message on the Road
"Pulling a large red sign, reading 'Sick of Lawsuits,' on a flatbed trailer, Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch (I-LAW) Executive Director Steve Schoeffel rolled into Carbondale with a message to deliver: Frivolous lawsuits are driving up the cost of everything for consumers and driving many doctors out of Southern Illinois under pressure from rising medical malpractice insurance premiums.

Schoeffel is traversing the region, spreading a message that if people are concerned about what he calls out-of-control lawsuits, this election year is the time they can make a difference. 'This year we can take some steps to cure this lawsuit epidemic,' Schoeffel said." The Southern Illinoisan, October 5, 2004

No Photography Allowed
"Many Chicago area hospitals now forbid parents from videotaping the births of their babies. The bans are being implemented as…the fear of being named a defendant in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit reaches a fever pitch. Parents are now in the awkward position of having videos of the births of some of their children, but not others. 'It bothered us,' Mary Rhodes of Lakeview says. 'We just looked at each other and thought, lawyers.' A spokeswoman for Northwestern Memorial, which instituted its ban in September, candidly says the policy is a 'reaction to the volatile legal climate.'" Crain's Detroit Business, October 13, 2004

Sick Of Lawsuits

The "Sick of Lawsuits" billboard truck made an appearance in the Milton, West Virginia Pumpkin Festival Parade on Sunday, October 3. Voter education brochures were distributed to parade viewers. The truck also traveled through Ohio, where it was parked outside the Vice Presidential debate at Case Western Reserve University and seen on CNN in the background of Inside Politics and during a live shot on Crossfire. Ohio Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse executive director Jeff Longstreth conducted interviews with more than seven publications in the state.

Legislative Update

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. is meeting with state legislators and looking at various proposals in an attempt to reach an agreement on the state's medical malpractice crisis. The governor is considering a special legislative session next month to find a solution for the problem. The Washington Post, October 15, 2004

Governor Granholm signed a bill banning civil lawsuits against the food industry for serving or making food that made people fat. Under the new law, restaurants, food manufacturers, advertisers and other sectors of the industry cannot be held liable for personal injury or death due to weight gain or an obesity-related condition. The Associated Press, October 7, 2004

Our Broken Healthcare Liability System

The Stats

100: Percentage of American flu vaccines that are made in Europe, including those produced by an American company. Vaccine makers have left the United States in part due to litigation fears. "Missing the Point on Flu Vaccines," Rocky Mountain News, October 21, 2004

More than 3,000: The number of Kentucky pregnant women each year who must find new doctors due to the state's medical liability crisis. "State is Losing OB-GYN Doctors," The Kentucky Post, October 18, 2004

$410,546: The average medical-malpractice settlement in Maryland last year, a figure which has almost doubled from $216,727 in 2000, according to the Medical Mutual Liability Insurance Society of Maryland. "Malpractice-case Amounts Soar," The Washington Times, October 5, 2004

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