“Protect honest job-creators from junk lawsuits…”

President George W. Bush
State of the Union Address
February 2, 2005

To make our economy stronger and more competitive, America must reward, not punish, the efforts and dreams of entrepreneurs. Small business is the path of advancement, especially for women and minorities, so we must free small businesses from needless regulation and protect honest job-creators from junk lawsuits. Justice is distorted, and our economy is held back, by irresponsible class actions and frivolous asbestos claims – and I urge Congress to pass legal reforms this year.

Lawsuit Abuse Background

Congress must finally address lawsuit abuse by protecting real victims and American workers instead of greedy lawyers! The time has come to stop talking about the problem and actually do something about it.

Sadly, many personal injury lawyers are abusing this system to enrich themselves at the expense of the very victims they are supposed to protect.

Although lawyers have a powerful lobby on Capitol Hill to protect their interests, no one can deny that class-action cases, asbestos litigation and medical malpractice lawsuits are out of control. While lawyers get hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements, victims get pennies, thousands of businesses are bankrupted, jobs are destroyed, innocent lives are ruined, and the overall American economy is damaged.

Thankfully, President Bush has made comprehensive tort reform to end lawsuit abuse a top priority for the coming year and protect victims instead of the trial lawyer lobby.

Medical Malpractice Reform

Medical malpractice lawsuits have created a crisis in our medical system that is unparalleled in history. This crisis is particularly acute in rural communities where doctors cannot charge as much money.

A 2002 survey found that 58% of doctors had been the target of a lawsuit and many doctors in high-risk fields are closing their practices altogether because of the threat of lawsuits.

Doctors in states around the country including Florida, West Virginia, Mississippi and Pennsylvania have staged walkouts to protest malpractice lawsuits that have led to skyrocketing insurance premiums.

Class Action Reform

While victims often receive pennies or coupons in compensation, some lawyers make as much as $30,000 per hour for class action lawsuits

Asbestos Reform

Asbestos litigation alone has bankrupted 67 American corporations and cost the corporations $54 billion – more than the total for all Superfund sites, Hurricane Andrew and the World Trade Center combined.