Letter to the Editor: Bork is not the first tort-reform hypocrite

Mississippi’s Sun Herald
Friday, June 22, 2007

"Bork vs. Bork," an editorial by the New York Times, was published in the Other Voices column of your Opinion page on June 18.
If there's one thing Americans can't stand it's a hypocrite. But while much has been made of former Supreme Court nominee and staunch "tort reform" advocate Robert Bork's filing of a personal injury lawsuit against the Yale Club, he is far from the tort reform movement's first hypocrite.
Tort reform advocates almost never miss an opportunity complain about lawsuits or to argue that the rights of injured consumers to go to court should be scaled back because we are too "litigious," but when they or family members are hurt and need compensation for their own injuries, often minor ones, these same individuals do not hesitate to use the courts to seek justice.
The same is true for corporations that have funded the "tort reform" movement. These companies support efforts to immunize themselves from liability for harming consumers. But when these same companies believe they have been wronged by a business competitor, they are the first to sue.
While the NY Times is right to hope that recent events have changed Mr. Bork's "lack of sympathy" for individuals who use our court system, Mr. Bork's filing should also remind readers that no one, regardless of ideology, wants to the have the doors to our court houses slammed in their face, even if that's exactly what they've advocated.
Patrick Buckley
Center for Justice & Democracy, Field Organizer
New York City

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