Behind the Headlines Video
Lawsuit abuse is damaging to our nation.
It costs more than $250 billion annually. $100 billion in costs to small businesses alone. Trial attorneys and sympathetic judges play jackpot justice with our courts.
People who are legitimately harmed deserve their day in court. But the system is clearly broken.
Recent examples of lawsuit abuse include the Congressman suing the U.S. House cafeteria because he bit into an olive pit in his vegetarian sandwich. A DEA Agent who accidentally shot himself during a gun safety lecture is suing the agency after video of the event became public. And a college student filed a $1.8 million suit because the prostitute he hired left him unsatisfied.
Class action lawsuits can be worse. Often plaintiffs receive worthless coupons or little to no money, while greedy trial lawyers rake in millions.
Last year, a St. Louis judge approved a nearly $28 million cash settlement against investment firm A.G. Edwards. The class of almost 300,000 people - the alleged victims - got to split six million in cash and received three coupons each worth $8.22. The lawyers got the rest: $21.6 million.
Dickie Scruggs, the king of tobacco lawsuits, now in federal prison for conspiracy to bribe a judge, said it's nearly impossible for a defendant to get a fair civil trial in many courtrooms.
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