President Bush to speak in Madison County, Illinois, regarding tort reform

Minnesota Public Radio
Tuesday, January 4, 2005

HILLARY WICAI reporting: In selling his case to cap damages and restrict class-action suits, the president is not highlighting a success story. The American Tort Reform Association's Sherman Joyce says Madison County has dwelled in the lowest of the legal pits for two years running.
Mr. SHERMAN JOYCE (American Tort Reform Association): We've seen in Madison County and its neighbor, in St. Clair County, number-two judicial hell hole, over 160 doctors in a relatively small community have stopped practicing medicine as a result of the excesses of our legal system.
WICAI: But the Association of Trial Lawyers says the number of physicians in Illinois increased by about 1,800 between 2001 and 2003. Joanne Doroshow heads the Center for Justice and Democracy, a national consumer rights group. She says the president and tort reform advocates will have a tough sale to make.
Ms. JOANNE DOROSHOW (Center for Justice and Democracy): The public does not support capping damages in cases involving brain-damaged children, seniors who are abused and neglected in nursing homes, and that's exactly what this legislation would do.
WICAI: She says the insurance industry is largely responsible for the skyrocketing liability rates the doctors pay. Groups like Doroshow's are launching a countercampaign. The president is headed to an area saturated with ads like this one from Illinois Citizen Action.
For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D.

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