Yes, the zombie of the “lawsuit crisis” has come back and is due for yet another death. The number of tort lawsuits filed in the nation continues to drop and has plummeted as of 2015 according to a Wall Street Journal article written by investigative reporter Joe Palazzolo. In fact, the article points out – there never was a “Lawsuit crisis.” This “truth” we have been told over and over and over and over in the corporate media since Ronald Regan started to dismantle the media? All Lies. Still all lies.
Fewer than two in 1,000 people—the alleged victims of inattentive motorists, medical malpractice, faulty products and other civil wrongs—filed tort lawsuits in 2015, an analysis of the latest available data collected by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) shows. That is down sharply from 1993, when about 10 in 1,000 Americans filed such suits.” Other data quoted from the NCSC shows: Tort (car crashes, malpractice, faulty products) lawsuits now (2015) account for less than 5% of all civil filings in state courts. NO plaintiff crisis. Period. Period. Data shows nothing.
That’s not all, a search of the the literature and new reports going back decades confirms this has been the same truth for the last twenty years. Here’s a story about an article from the Washington Monthly from 2004 to point this out:
According to the National Center for State Courts, a research group funded by state courts, personal injury and other tort filings, when controlled for population growth, have declined nationally by 8 percent since the 1975, and have been falling steadily in real numbers since 1996. The numbers are even more dramatic in places with rapid population growth, like Texas, where the rate of tort filings fell 37 percent between 1990 and 2000. Even in liberal California, the rate of filings has plummeted 45 percent over the past decade. And those overly sympathetic juries Newsweek derides as so eager to dole out big bucks to injured victims? In 2001, they voted against plaintiffs in 75 percent of all medical malpractice trials, according to the federal government’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).”
There’s no way to spin this newest article from the investigative reporters at the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Monthly to create the mythical greedy plaintiff, lying in wait, for the unsuspecting driver, businessman corporation. The “lawsuit crisis” has all been a lie. It been a total lie for three decades. But who was doing the lying?
First a little bit of business background. Businesses, especially big businesses, concentrate wealth in upper management, the Board of Directors and the CEO. Some big businesses, like Walmart, Foxxcom (a Taiwanese company that manufactures all most all Apple products almost exclusively in China) are ruthlessly exploiting all areas of operation. They threaten to move their factories from the job hungry, Third-World nations, they threaten the small businesses from which they buy to change suppliers, they have union busting “goons” show up at businesses where union activity has been going on, they crushed small businesses in the small towns with their massive warehouse stores. Most importantly they can also write off other expenses that are not part of their business, like advertising… or more specifically lobbying. That’s right, those advertisements you see saying how awful injured people are for filing a lawsuit? Those are spoon fed to corporate media paid for by big corporations, like tobacco companies, insurance companies (including medical insurance companies), large financial corporations (think credit card companies, debt collection agencies and the big banks that brought you the 2007 financial collapse). All those big corporations paid big, big money to big media corporations. These big media corporations control 90% of what is shown on cable and television General Electric (Comcast, NBC, Universal Pictures, Focus Features), News Corp (Fox,, Wall Street Journal, New York Post), Disney (ESPN, ABC, Pixar, Miramax, Marvel Studios), Viacom (MTV, Nick Jr., BET, CMT, Paramount Pictures), Time Warner (CNN, HBO, Time, Warner Brothers) and CBS. Of these six media corporations 232 of their executives control what 277,000,000 (277 MILLION) U.S. citizens see on a screen. No wonder the citizens of the U. S. A. believe this “lawsuit crisis” lie. It’s all they see on the “free” television.
Buying this advertising and airtime to spread these lies about a non-existant lawsuit crisis are the insurance industry’s lobbyists and fake “public interest” groups funded by insurance companies, corporations, and doctors’ groups. People like Philip K. Howard are twisting facts into a false story. He is the founder of the misnamed “Common Good” astro-turf group. This is a typical front group funded by corporations and physicians seeking to limit their legal liability for injuring people. Common Good’s agenda includes advocating for legislation that would end the civil jury’s role in many lawsuits. To advance the cause, Common Good spoon-feeds content-hungry reporters by distributing colorful litigation horror stories from around the country. This helps the local reporter spread the lie and generate anti-lawsuit articles. Litigation horror stories which usually are not the full truth or sometimes not even close, as in the “McDonald’s coffee” case. Everything you think you know about that case is wrong. Just watch the movie “Hot Coffee, The Movie”
This propaganda ignores one thing: The U. S. Constitution. There is a fundamental constitutional right to use the court system. You are not a bad person for filing a lawsuit when you have been injured. Period. This right to access an America court is based on the First, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, you have the right to “petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, you have a right to “due process of law.” Put together, these provisions mean that you must have the opportunity to go to court get a jury of your equals to hear your case under the “right of access to the courts.” The U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed this right in several cases. (Chambers v. Baltimore & O.R.R., 207 U.S. 142, 148 (1907); McKnett v. St. Louis & S.F. Ry., 292 U.S. 230, 233 (1934)) and it is unquestioned in United States law. It is there for you. It is your right under the U. S. Constitution and the Constitutions of the all 50 states.
The whole point of this corporate propaganda is to poison the minds of folks who are called for jury service. I see it consistently in jurors when I am in a courtroom picking or helping a friend pick a jury. Certain sincere but closed minded jurors folks who watch a particular news channel or listen to a particular talk show host have consistently and repeatedly over and over and over been told by those media people that anybody files a personal injury lawsuit is
“faking it,” “trying to get something for nothing” “aren’t really hurt.” This idea is repeated and repeated and repeated so that their minds have been thoroughly poisoned and closed against that injured person requesting to be paid back for what has been taken from him or her. It is a sad and sorry state indeed when the jurors state courts of United States are so poisoned against genuinely injured people. It is strikingly similar to other examples of propaganda used against the citizens of another country.
Examining further the NCSC data related to tort cases, the Wall Street Journal story says automobiles are involved in nearly two-thirds of tort cases. That means two out of three cases in which suit is filed is because an insurance company has refused to fairly compensate and person injured by that insurance company’s insured. Make no mistake though, many times the insured person is more than willing to have their insurance fairly compensate the person they injured. It is the decision of the insurance company adjuster or the claims manager to refuse to fairly compensate the injured person. That’s why a lawsuit has to be filed. Keep in mind though, some uninformed people hire “settlement” lawyers who only settle cases. You see them on billboard, TV, radio, Internet/ They are the high-volume firms that don’t ever go to court. So the number of people actually filing suit is a tiny amount of the people that are actually being hurt in automobile crashes, medical mistakes or dangerous products.
As one media critic described this hyped-up false claim:
“Every few months, one or another newspaper, magazine, or television show does a story just like it. They all hew to a standard line, starting with a juicy but misleading – or even fictitious – lawsuit horror story typically describing an irresponsible plaintiff, followed by “studies” on the economic damage of the tort system published by corporate front groups, finally ending with calls for “reforms” to rein in mushy-headed juries and greedy trial lawyers. Such skewed coverage represents a victory in a sustained, 50-year public relations assault on the civil justice system by the insurance industry, tobacco companies, and other corporate giants. It’s helped fuel political support for curtailing Americans’ right to hold corporations and individuals accountable for negligence, fraud, and other malfeasance in court. Perhaps more serious, journalists’ willingness to perpetuate anti-lawsuit propaganda has gravely jeopardized Americans’ unique democratic right to participate on civil juries.”
This “lawsuit crisis” propaganda is simply an attempt by use of corporate media to convince people not to hold powerful corporations accountable. They do not want “personal responsibility” for corporations when they ruin a U.S. citizen’s life. This is wrong. This is undemocratic. This is anti-American and against the principles on which this nation was founded on. if you are called as a juror, it is likely that injured person asking for your help is not the “greedy, faker, laying-in-wait” to take advantage of a defendant. It’s an American citizen exercising his or her constitutional rights for redress in the courts of our great nation. This zombie myth must die.
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