John Stossel’s most recent segment on FOX Business News does an excellent job of exposing how lawsuit abuse has removed useful products from the market place and added significantly to the cost of the other consumer products.
If you missed it, click here to see him debate attorney Mark Lanier, who has sued many companies in class action lawsuits, and who’s made a fortune in the process. Lawsuits like the ones Lanier has filed have prompted companies to stop selling products like the pain reliever, Vioxx, which thousands of people with arthritis still want – despite what you may have heard.
Stossel points out that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has done an exhaustive evaluation of this pain reliever and says the benefits of Vioxx outweigh the risks, but that another kind of risk, the risk of more lawsuits, is what keeps it off the market. I’ve personally talked with many arthritis patients who wish they could still use Vioxx, but junk science is still being used to fuel abusive lawsuits and keep it off the market.
Stossel had two experts on his show to explain not only how plaintiff lawyers like Lanier manipulate the civil justice system to win millions of dollars, but also how the system can be changed to end this abuse. Attorney Ted Frank founded the Center for Class Action Fairness and talked about how judges often just rubber stamp class action lawsuit settlements even when they provide the members of the class who were supposedly harmed with nothing.
Marie Gryphon also appeared on the show to discuss a new report about “Loser Pays” legal systems around the world that she spent three years researching and writing and which was published by the Manhattan Institute. She did a convincing job of explaining how these systems can, when properly designed, effectively end lawsuit abuse while protecting consumers who have legitimate injuries.
This show was a real eye-opener and will likely change a lot of minds about what is possible when it comes to civil justice reform.