Tort Reform: Chamber vs. Trial Lawyers

Battling press releases today between two arch-enemies in the legal arena contend that the U.S. does, and does not, have a legal system in critical need of so-called tort reform.

Weighing in on the side of further restrictions on the right of individual Americans to sue big corporations for legal redress is the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (PDF), a business group. Arguing that such cases do more to fatten the wallets of plaintiffs lawyers than redress wrongs done to consumers, it released a 30-page study today that ranks individual states based on whether they are perceived to have a legal environment that is favorable to business.

Weighing in against that viewpoint is the American Association for Justice (PDF), a trial lawyers’ group. It argues that the chamber’s study is “bogus” science intended to help big business avoid merited liability for corporate wrongdoing.

For more coverage, see the law blog of the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.).

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