Opponents tally up lawsuits by critics of litigation

Liability & Insurance Week
Sunday, January 28, 2001

Opponents of limits on liability have compiled a long list of "hypocrites" who complain about litigiousness but have themselves gone to court.

"No one likes a hypocrite. Yet one would be hard pressed to find more hypocrites than in the 'tort reform' movement," writes Emily Gottlieb in a paper, Not In My Backyard, released by the New-York based Center for Justice and Democracy.

Some of the "hypocrites":

  • George W. Bush, who as governor of Texas "signed a series of brutal bills that severely reduced injured consumers' rights to go to court" but filed a lawsuit of his own against Enterprise Rent-A-Car after his daughter's vehicle was hit by a driver with a suspended license. "In this case, Bush seemed to understand one of the most important functions of civil lawsuits - to deter further wrongdoing," Gottlieb writes. The case settled for $2,000-$2,500.

  • ABC News correspondent John Stossel, who criticizes litigiousness but himself sued a pro wrestler who hit him after Stossel implied pro wrestling was fake and reportedly settled for $200,000.

  • Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), who has proposed capping noneconomic damages in health cases at $250,000 but whose wife won a jury verdict of $350,000 against a chiropractor...

For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D.

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