Stossel Asks: Are Lawyers Necessary To Protect Consumers?

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.

Read The Insider’s Report The Plaintiff Lawyers Want To Keep Buried

In nearly 20 years of researching, writing and talking on television and radio about all the harm junk lawsuits cause, I have probably heard every twisted and off-base argument plaintiff lawyers use to defend their destructive practices and to demonize those they sue.  Yet there is only one person in America who has taken the most common myths spread by the personal injury lawyers and so effectively refuted them in one report.  Now, you can get that report online.

Steven Hantler is the chairman of the Center for America, and his spot-on analysis of the powerful trial bar called “Seven Myths of Business, According to Highly Effective Plaintiffs’ Lawyers” separates the fact from the fiction in the debate over legal reform.  Hantler tells us, in plain language, how out of touch with reality the personal injury lawyers really are, and he uses facts to back up his arguments.

His “Seven Myths” analysis is included in the State Guide to Litigation that was just published in NACD Directorship magazine.  If you want the straight scoop on an issue, you can count on it from the magazine read by nearly 10,000 directors of the leading public, private and nonprofit companies in the United States.

These leaders serve on boards of directors that wrestle with a myriad of complex issues, so they demand the most accurate information and unvarnished perspective from independent sources. If lawsuit abuse is making it more difficult to run companies that provide millions of jobs and which affect countless retired Americans, they want to know it.  And they turned to Hantler for guidance.

In his report, you can read about how class-action lawsuits often fail to serve the public good and how plaintiff lawyers who try to circumvent established regulatory practices often hurt consumers.  Personal injury lawyers often like to portray themselves as the underdog in a David verses Goliath battle with companies, but Hantler explains how that’s just not true.

The leaders who were given Hantler’s report this week certainly play a major role in our national economy, but many, if not most, are also intimately involved in our communities by providing hands-on leadership as board members of charities like food banks and hospitals.  I know firsthand by working with charities that they are often as negatively affected by lawsuit abuse as any company.  I’m thrilled that these leaders are now getting the information they need to fully understand America’s litigation crisis and to take action to restore confidence in our civil justice system.

The Top Ten Wackiest Warning Labels Of All Time

Tractor Warning Label

Tractor Warning Label

During the 13 years we have held the annual Wacky Warning Label Contest, people from all over America have sent us some of the most outrageously obvious warnings you could imagine.

Of course, we always enjoy the humor these labels provide, but we particularly appreciate all the opportunities they give us to reveal the lawsuit problems in American that have made such labels necessary and to engage the public in a conversation about what needs to be done to fix the system.

Ted Frank’s excellent op-ed article for AOL News today once again puts the spotlight on our Wacky Warning Label Contest and raises some new issues involving class action lawsuits that you’ll want to read.  Ted is an attorney and the president and founder of The Center For Class Action Fairness.

We always get a lot of email when our contest is featured on a major website like this, and one of the most common questions we get is: “What are the wackiest warning labels you’ve seen over the years?”

It’s about time we answered that question.   So in descending rank, with number one being the wackiest warning label of all time, here is my list for the Ten Wackiest Warning Labels Ever:

10. A warning on a wood router says:  “This product not intended for use as a dental drill.”

9. A five-inch brass fishing lure with a three-pronged hook on the end cautions: “Harmful if swallowed.”

8. A letter opener carries this warning,  “Caution: Safety goggles recommended.”

7. A vanishing fabric marker warns: “The Vanishing Fabric Marker should not be used as a writing instrument for signing checks or any legal documents.”

6. A bag of livestock castration rings warns,  “For animal use only.”

5. A label on a washing machine warns, “Do not put any person in this washer.”

4. A label on a small tractor cautions:  “Danger!  Avoid Death.”

3. A portable toilet seat called the “Off-Road Commode” that attaches to a vehicle’s trailer hitch warns: “Not for use when vehicle is in motion.”

2. A popular scooter used by children throughout the United States warns: “This product moves when used.”

And, my all-time favorite…

1. A label on baby stroller warns: “Remove child before folding.”

For more information about the Wacky Warning Label Contest sponsored by the Foundation for Fair Civil Justice, click here: