Friday, May 1, 2009

Frankenstein, Dracula, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Coming to a Theater Near You!

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants you to know,

“…the biggest problem facing the country today isn’t the financial meltdown, record unemployment, two wars, swine flu, toxic peanut butter… It’s lawsuits … by average working families, especially the ones against corporate executives who defraud and poison people.”

The ads will be run at Regal theaters in Washington, D.C., and may soon be at a theater near you.

To read more, please see: ThePopTort: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Finally Makes it Fun To Go To The Movies!

Hat tip:


  1. We’ve seen brief pause in the pro-tort reform/preemption rhetoric after their loss in Levine. However recently there has been an uptick in the typical fact less, inflammatory pronouncements by the “free industry from accountability” camp.

    Here’s another example -
    Bloomberg reports in Wyeth Supreme Court Loss Breaks Drug Lawsuit Logjam

    A quote by attorney Mark Herrmann -

    “The Supreme Court decision may cost the industry “billions of dollars,” said attorney Mark Herrmann at Jones Day in Chicago, who defends companies in similar suits. “There’s no way to quantify it, but the number has as many zeroes in it as attacked Pearl Harbor.”

    The Chamber of Commerce has quantified it – it’s something more than “financial meltdown, record unemployment, two wars, swine flu, toxic peanut butter…”

    This is a tactic that has worked in the past. Refer to the success of Dan Troy, the father of Preemption and his approach to law. He said -
    "We have to pick our shots…so make it sound like a Hollywood pitch."
    See the article in Mother Jones -

    Nice pitch Chamber of Commerce.

    How about this one - In a world where Industry has been beaten down by evil consumers bent on accountability a new sheriff walks the streets. He's come to save the day. Look out trial lawyers he's coming for you!

  2. Here's the point that I think the C of C misses. Litigation is supposed to be a burden on industry and the burden needs to increase as negligence increases. Elimination of all litigation against providers of product and services by unquestioning consumers will only serve to allow further negligence.

    Admittedly there are people that seek to take advantage of the litigation system. A few get away with it but not many; certainly not so many that would justify elimination of litigation. Using a few examples as a means to argue for elimination of all product litigation is absolutely frivolous. It is the quintessential frivolous law suit in itself. In effect it is saying lets try all product litigation law suits from this point forward, before hearing testimony and throw them all out of court. Regardless of what the facts are let’s just assume that all product litigation is frivolous.

    The C of C proves this point even in the video example of frivolous lawsuits that they site. (goose in parking lot attacks shop customer and customer sues the shop owners) The law suit was thrown out. The system worked. The litigant didn’t get anything. Using this example then – it appears that the C of C is pushing for not just elimination of frivolous suits but all law suits. Why would they use an example where the current system worked unless they want to eliminate the current system?

    We need to be careful. The C of C is using an argument that every one can agree with - some people are trying to take advantage of the system. But we need to understand that their solution is not something that everyone will agree with – All industry without any accountability to any consumer.

  3. Check this out -- investing in lawsuits. Here's a way for pharma to mitigate some of the financial losses associated with lawsuits! Now if this doesn't tell you that litigation is out of control, I don't know what planet you live on...

  4. Nathan,
    When you say that litigation is "out of control", do you mean that the great majority of payouts are from frivolous lawsuits or from proven negligence and/or fraud?

  5. It _looks like_ most of the investing so far is in company v. company lawsuits. The article reads:

    "Like Juridica, these funds invest amounts typically between $1 million and $5 million in cases where companies sue each other for anticompetitive behavior, contract breaches, and so on."

    So perhaps the best way for pharma to mitigate financial losses due to lawsuits is to stop bringing them.


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