I came across an article in the Ocean City Maryland News and thought “here we go again”!. An outfit calling itself the Maryland Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (can you spell “Chamber of Commerce”) has taken the unusual measure of placing ads on the backs of city buses in Ocean City stating “Don’t get Burned by Lawsuit Abuse”. The apparent strategy is that numerous legislators and civic leaders vacation in Ocean City, MD during the summer. The outfit hopes that the campaign will be seen by them and “educate the public that frivolous lawsuits filed in the state’s judicial system adversely effect more than just the plaintiff and the defendant”. They claim to fear that “Lawsuit Abuse” increases medical costs and scares doctors away from their practices It is an old and tiresome argument. It is also a bunch of baloney!
Listen to these quotes from the Executive Director of the Maryland Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse, a man by the name of Todd Lamb:
“Lawsuit abuse effects everyone…it increases medical costs and scares doctors from practicing in rural areas such as Worcester County, which makes it hard for the general public to find a good doctor in close proximity to their homes…” Baloney!
But this is the one that wins the “Biggest Bunch of Baloney Award” from Lawsuit Financial:
“Personal injury lawyers who make their living off of claims like this often encourage people to sue even if they aren’t injured,” said Lamb, “and unfortunately, when someone has a legitimate claim, it takes a very long time to get their day in court and eventual justice because the system is clogged with ridiculous lawsuits.”
Give me a break! “Even if they aren’t injured”?! I ask members of the public or the legal profession who are reading this post: How many lawyers who practice law on a contingency fee basis and who advance litigation costs from their own pockets would file a “frivolous” lawsuit? How many lawyers who practice law on a contingency fee basis and pay for litigation costs out of their own pockets would ‘encourage people to sue even if they aren’t injured’? The answer is: ZERO! You don’t believe me? Well, use your own common sense. What incentive does a lawyer spending his own money, while waiting for a contingency fee, have to file an essentially worthless action? All right thinking people, whether trial lawyers or not, should speak out against these lies!
As the 38 year veteran lawyer featured in the article says in the article: Our system of justice has built in curbs to prevent the filing or pursuit of frivolous suits. Lawyers who pursue frivolous lawsuits can be punished for pursuing them. A frivolous lawsuit costs only a bad lawyer money in fees, costs and fines. It costs doctors, product makers, and insurance companies nothing. What does cost doctors and insurance company large amounts of money, you ask? Again, the answer is obvious to anyone with any common sense: Serious lawsuits about serious injuries and life-changing circumstances caused by serious breaches of conduct or neglect, by doctors or product makers against innocent members of the public should result in serious verdicts for the plaintiffs who bring them.
Why scream “lawsuit abuse”? Why argue that ‘frivolous’ lawsuits are expensive? Because the ‘tort-reformers’ want you to think that serious lawsuit are ‘frivolous’. What will that kind of thinking do to society? Instead of private insurance companies paying for the victims of serious injuries caused by serious safety breaches (as they should), public funds (in the form of welfare, medicaid,medicare or other publicly funded program) will be required. This will increase your taxes. It is nothing more than a corporate bailout or corporate welfare. Is that what we want? Haven’t we seen enough of that? What happened to personal responsibility?
America: Do not be fooled by this charade. It is well financed, well marketed, and well publicized. But, it is ill conceived. Why? Because it is based on a false premise, the ‘big lie’, as I have called it. Large amounts of money are not being handed out on ‘frivolous’ lawsuits. That is the rule. Are there some silly sounding exceptions? Sure there are, but they are still ‘exceptions’ and they are few and far between. When you investigate, even some of the silly sounding cases are not as silly as they sound. State and national chambers of commerce represent big business interests. They do not represent the people. When you are seriously injured or disabled, a trial lawyer will stand up for your rights and pursue them; he/she will pursue justice on your behalf, spending his/her own money in the process and wait to paid from funds his/her hard work make possible. It is a noble calling, worthy or praise and thanks.
If you know a trial lawyer or have utilized the service of a trial lawyer at some point in your life, call and thank him/her for serving the cause of justice for the “little guy” against big-business interests and organizations like the one in Maryland whose sole purpose is to restrict your right to protection from harm. Lawsuit Financial is taking a well-publicized stand against these dangerous organizations and the “big lie” being spewed by the tort reformers. Join with us. Call your senator, congressman, state senator or representative and tell them that you are for an individual’s right to pursue justice in America and against the nonsense of preventing access to justice by disguising it with words like ‘frivolousness’ or ‘abuse’. And fellow citizens: Be safe out there.