"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie: deliberate, continued and dishonest; but the myth: persistent, persuasive and unrealistic." - John F. Kennedy
Much has been made recently, in newspapers, on television, and on radio talk shows about the need to reform the civil justice system. This topic, often referred to as "tort reform," is a combination of lies, misrepresentations, and inappropriate innuendo, all assembled by advertising companies and lobbyists to suit the needs of their clients: the insurance industry. They have tried to sell americans on the proposition that trial lawyers are the sworn natural enemies of doctors, manufacturers, and business owners. That notion is, quite frankly, absurd. The next time you are confronted with comments about how lawyers and their clients are out to visit financial ruin on our society through personal injury or malpractice claims, just ask yourself who speaks for the victims of malpractice or on behalf of seriously injured people against the monied interests of the insurers?
We offer the following pieces of documented information for your consideration on the subject of tort reform. See if you don't feel that the facts indicate the need for someone, like a personal injury attorney, to speak on behalf of an accident victim. A famous american once called the contingent fee system "the poor man's key to the courthouse." Left to their own devices the insurers would take your right to seek fair compensation in a court of law, even though that right is guaranteed to you by the U.S. and state constitutions.
We hope you will read the information provided in the links that follow and fairly weigh the competing evidence to the half truths and lies that pepper the airways these days. Let the facts guide your thoughts, not the propaganda advanced by those who stand to profit from the restriction of your constitutional rights.
Protecting Wisconsin Consumers' Rights
Medical Malpractice Reform Should Focus More On Patients Than On Caps
"Reston, Va. - Today thousands of physicians will descend upon Capitol Hill to voice support for medical liability reform to address the rise in medical malpractice premiums. These physicians will be lobbying for a federal cap on non-economic damages. The American Medical Student Association (AMSA), the nations largest, independent medical student organization, expresses concern that..."( Click here to read the whole article...)
Kenosha News Story, Tuesday, April 19, 2005
"Since 1981, average hospital costs in Wisconsin have gone up 267 percent. The state liability cap protecting municipalities against claims, however, has not increased a dime.
"In response to a state Supreme Court decision in 1963, a Senate bill was passed to limit recovery against municipal claims to $25,000. Recognizing that with inflation $25,000 would cover very little,..."( Click here to read the whole article...)
In Other News
"Don't Believe the Hype"--It's The Insurance Cycle, Stupid!
"Over the course of the last two decades a new musical genre has taken the United States by storm--hip hop music. For those of us who have listened to this genre or have friends or children that have listened to this genre, one song accurately describes how the public should respond to the allegations that there are too many "junk" or "frivolous" civil lawsuits; "DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE!"
"When Chuck D from Public Enemy wrote this song back in the late 1980s perhaps he was foreshadowing the present administration's efforts to blame every malady in American society on the civil justice system. President Bush and his corporate cronies want..."( Click here to read the whole article...)
Briefing paper demolishes myths, helps the media to refute distortions
During this year's presidential election campaign, our civil justice system has come under continuous attack. Our Constitutional right to challenge medical providers, drug companies, and other major corporations is being blamed for soaring medical costs and even the outsourcing of jobs. The bombardment against our legal rights may intensify as the November Fund, founded by the US Chamber of Commerce, unleashes a planned $10 million series of TV ads. To counter the torrent of distortions, half-truths, and outright lies being disseminated, WATL has distributed to the state media a briefing paper titled "Deceptive Rhetoric vs. Documented Truth on Civil Justice." Each of nine widely-repeated myths is thoroughly examined and refuted, with easy-to-comprehend charts and supportive documentation listed. Feel free to download it and share it with your local newspaper editor and radio or TV news directors. Read the truth about your rights and big money interests Requires Adobe Reader Click to download
Update: Patient Safety and Your Rights (from the Wisconsin Association for Justice)
Click to view a presentation on your right as a patient to safety Requires Microsoft Power Point
Click to view an essay about patient safety . Requires Microsoft Word or compatible alternative
Click to view a patient safety brochure. Requires Adobe Reader Click to download