Letter to the Editor: 'Poll' helps bolster abuse myth

National Law Journal
Monday, December 11, 2000

YOUR ARTICLE "Online voters pick most frivolous case" [Oct. 16] mentions an online poll by Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch asking about "frivolous lawsuits."
Last July, the Center for Justice & Democracy and Public Citizen released a study on such "lawsuit abuse" groups, which exist in about 18 states. Not surprisingly, we found that these organizations are funded by and represent the interests of major industries that are seeking to immunize themselves from liability for the harm they cause.
The message of groups like M-LAW is to tar as lawsuit abuse the efforts of injured consumers to recover damages from those responsible, inciting scorn for the civil justice system. More broadly, their message is based on the falsehoods that the legal system has spun out of control and is cluttered with frivolous suits, and that lawsuits tax the economy and consumers, creating economic hardship.
Jurors and lawmakers around the country have been influenced by this message due to the marketing campaign of groups like M-LAW, of which bogus "polls" like this are a part.
(NOTE: The author of the letter is CJ&D Executive Director Joanne Doroshow.)

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