A well-funded front group for wealthy special interests has regurgitated false claims that lawsuits are responsible for hurting business and driving unemployment (“It’s Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week”). Unfortunately, this newspaper’s presented a one-sided perspective without the true and accurate facts that readers need to make informed judgments.
Travis Akin, the face of front group I-LAW, conveniently avoided the fact that more than 70 percent of lawsuits are filed by his very own financial supporters – businesses suing businesses for money. Injury cases make up just 6 percent of all lawsuits.
I-LAW’s backers do not want to get sued for their wrongdoing, and they put profits before protecting people from serious injuries. They are brazenly trying to scare citizens into giving up their constitutional right to hold negligent drivers, polluters, careless professionals and reckless manufacturers responsible for their dangerous actions.
They delay compensating injured people by routinely filing frivolous defenses to meritorious lawsuits. They defend the indefensible for years to wear suffering individuals down financially and force them to take less than fair compensation for their injuries.
The truth is, according to a recent survey by the National Federation of Independent Business, lawsuits rank 71st out of 75 issues small businesses find important. Taxes, energy prices and the cost of labor are far more important factors for a company deciding where to locate.
Our justice system screens out the very few suits without merit. What we truly need to address are the frivolous defenses Mr. Akin’s wealthy, powerful backers continually use to try to force their victims into accepting less than reasonable compensation.
Stephen D. Phillips, president Illinois Trial Lawyers Association