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Seeking the roots of lawsuit abuse

Washington Post, March 19, 2017

By: Lisa A. Rickard

Regarding the March 10 front-page article “House GOP quietly advances revisions to tort law”:

It is time to stop simply defining the debate over legal reform as being between slamming closed the courthouse doors and so-called frivolous lawsuits. There are ample, specific and indefensible cases of class-action lawsuits in which the lawyers make many times in fees what is received by the entire class of thousands and sometimes millions of consumers they represent. In one class-action settlement against a computer manufacturer, for example, the lawyers received $7 million in fees. That was 14 times the $500,000 the entire class of almost 400,000 consumers received.

There are reasonable and moderate ways to correct abuses that hurt consumers, future victims, innocent businesses and the integrity of our court system, but we can’t get there without investigating and explaining the roots of the problems that need to be fixed.