I wanted to share with our readership an important publication concerning product safety, put out by the American Association for Justice, via its “driven to safety” outfit.
AAJ is often vilified by Corporate America. From this, the general public is misled into thinking that our court system is clogged with frivolous injury lawsuits that raise insurance rates and harm consumers. Not so. The research doesn’t support any of the allegations. I’ll save that debate for another day. But I do want to make just a quick point about what I believe is overlooked in the discussion. First, there are numerous barriers one must overcome before ever filing a lawsuit –– plaintiffs attorneys regularly must say no to injured clients, oftentimes because the costs or the risk are disproportionately high compared to the damage the person has suffered. Rarely do we hear about an allegation that other kinds of cases –– of which there are many –– are clogging our courts. The media simply doesn’t point to any of the following as being unnecessarily entangled in the court system: disputes among business partners; divorce litigation; commercial litigation involving one business suing another; patent litigation; and the list goes on and on. It’s principally “tort” litigation that gets the bad wrap. Those in support of corporate interests are able to use their influence and their power to direct the spotlight on these alleged ills of tort litigation. This is unfortunate. As the GM recall demonstrates, it was the very tort litigation system that unraveled the efforts by GM to keep critical information from the public. It’s about time we disabused those who swallow all the misinformation and propaganda surrounding tort law. The GM case is but one example of something we can be proud of: our tort system