LAWSUIT ABUSE IS RAMPANT
By Chuck Wells
A five-inch fishing lure that
has three steel hooks has a warning label: “Harmful if
The warning label on a bottle of drain cleaner reads: “If you do
not understand, or cannot read all directions, cautions, and
warnings, do not use this product.”
A warning label on a snow sled: “Beware: sled may develop high
speed under certain snow conditions.”
Our efficient U.S. Congress is now working on a law prohibiting
lawsuits against fast-food chains by lawyers representing fat
people who want to sue because they ate too many burgers and
fries. They whine that they would not be fat slobs if the fast
food outfits had not made them eat their food. Who would have
thought laws would be necessary to prohibit these kinds of bogus
lawsuits? And who profits from lawsuits? Those supposedly
injured or just the lawyers?
The cost to us in higher prices because of lawsuits has
increased 100% over the past 50 years compared to an increase in
our gross domestic product of 34%. This means our legal system
is taking bigger and bigger bites out of our economy.
Each of us in New York pays about $800 per year for lawsuits.
Here in New York, it is becoming difficult to find an
obstetrician or gynecologist because of the cost of insurance
that is related to ridiculous lawsuits. Look at the cost of your
medical insurance. It’s not the fault of insurance companies.
Doctors, hospitals, and drug manufacturers are inundated with
lawsuits so they have to cover their rear-ends by extra
procedures. Follow the money. It doesn’t stay with doctors,
hospitals, or drug manufacturers.
Talk to contractors about their insurance. They can’t afford
worker’s compensation or general liability insurance anymore
because of New York’s laws encouraging lawsuits. Construction
companies are hiring people outside of New York to come in
because our legal system is so oppressive.
This past year, our state legislators and governor passed a law
actually allowing husbands and wives to now sue each other after
a car accident. This was not possible before this year. Who will
make money on this deal? Who will pay for this?
So what do we get for all this money being spent on lawsuits? Do
we make out better because of them?
According to the Independent Research Council, “When attorneys
are involved, accident victims wait much longer for payment.
Claimants who hired attorneys actually received a lower net
reimbursement amount and (felt) less satisfied with the overall
The Insurance Research Council also confirms that “claim studies
show that injured people who deal directly with the insurance
company wind up with as much or more money than those who hire
attorneys because the attorney takes about one-third of the
A case study by Allstate Insurance Company was interesting too.
While people who hired a lawyer received more money in a lawsuit
if the suits were between $1,500 and $15,000, they actually only
netted only $48 more in their pockets while the attorney
retained about $2,600. In some cases, attorneys retain more
money than the client after costs are factored in.
The city of Chicago settled a class action lawsuit (remember the
tobacco class action that netted lawyers millions who then went
out an bought big yachts?) filed on behalf of the city’s
panhandlers who said their civil rights were violated when
ticketed for begging on the sidewalks. The city’s 3,000
panhandlers will be given $450 each which I’m sure will be
invested wisely. The lawyers who took this case will get
One of the solutions to our financial problems in this country
is to reign in a legal system that is out-of-control and
promotes a lottery mentality for those who want to score big
without working and at the same time give the rest of us the
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