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 Volume XI March 16, 2004 

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"We need to stop the feeding frenzy of lawsuit abuse in this country…We as Americans need to realize that suing your way to better health is not the answer. Trial lawyers need to stop encouraging consumers to blame others for the consequences of their actions just so they can profit from frivolous lawsuits." — Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert, U.S. Newswire, March 10, 2004

Lawsuit Abuse News

more lawsuit abuse news in Sick Of Lawsuits

Robin Hood Is Alive in Court, Say Those Seeking Lawsuit Limits

"For doctors, drug makers and sellers of everything from tobacco to frozen chickens, America's civil justice system can seem like Sherwood Forest. They say that some small-town and urban courthouses have become thickets of Robin Hood jurors, predatory trial lawyers and biased judges who allow frivolous lawsuits by consumers to fleece businesses out of billions of dollars." USA TODAY, March 8, 2004

The Class Action Game

"By enabling the many to sue as one, class-action lawsuits have reshaped the nation's economic and social landscape…the Tribune found that in nearly one out of 10 cases, victims received awards of little economic value, while their lawyers reaped substantial cash fees. All too often,

plaintiff's attorneys faced strong financial incentives to put their interests ahead of their clients by allowing defendants to dispose of legal problems for a fraction of the actual damages. Victims played little role in a complicated game where insiders were calling the shots." Chicago Tribune, March 7, 2004

Mississippi Supreme Court Cracks Down on Frivilous Lawsuits

"The state Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that dozens of people suing a drug maker were improperly joined in their case....Critics say Mississippi is a hotbed for forum shopping, or filing a lawsuit in a court district with a reputation for favorable verdicts. The ruling could help stem that practice, said Chip Reno, head of Stop Lawsuit Abuse of Mississippi." Jackson Clarion-Ledger, February 20, 2004

Sick Of Lawsuits
In Action

New Information on America's Health Litigation Epidemic

Sick Of Lawsuits will be partnering with two other organizations to release an important new survey on our health litigation epidemic. Stay tuned to for more information about this report and upcoming local events.

Legislative Update

The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved legislation that would block lawsuits blaming the food industry for making people fat. The "Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act" would limit frivolous lawsuits against the manufacturers, distributors or sellers of food or nonalcoholic beverage products arising from obesity claims. Reuters, Associated Press, March 10, 2004

The Senate chamber of the Pennsylvania Assembly passed a measure that would permit caps for medical-liability suits. The bill--S.B.9--provides for a constitutional amendment that would be put to a referendum, asking voters whether to enact caps on non-economic damages for medical-liability suits only. The House already has approved a version of the bill and the two versions now must be reconciled. Best's Insurance News, March 10, 2004

Our Broken Healthcare Liability System

The Stats

  • 1700: percent of increase in medical liability costs since 1975 U.S. Tort Costs: 2003 Update; Trends and Findings on the Costs of the U.S. Tort System, Tillinghast - Towers Perrin, December 2003

  • $48 million: amount of money the top plaintiff law firms spent on TV ads in which they solicited clients and offered free cardiac screenings for the Fen-Phen class-action litigation "Do These Doctors Give Medicine A Black Eye?" Medical Economics, December 19, 2003

  • 67%: percentage of OB-GYN's who said that liability pressures forced them to stop providing childbirth services Editorial: The Costs of Frivolous Lawsuits, Internal Medicine News, January 2004

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