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April 26, 2009

Louisiana Small Business Featured in National Campaign Against Abusive Lawsuits

WASHINGTON, D.C.—A Louisiana small business owner facing more than 100 mass action lawsuits is recounting his legal ordeal as part of a national campaign called Faces of Lawsuit Abuse, which exposes the negative effects of abusive lawsuits on small businesses and individuals. Mike Carter, owner of Monroe Rubber and Gasket in Monroe, LA, tells his story in a short video featured on www.FacesofLawsuitAbuse.org, sponsored by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR).    
 
“Abusive lawsuits are not victimless,” said ILR President Lisa Rickard. “Many people think big-dollar lawsuits are only filed against ‘deep-pocket’ corporations. Yet, in this current economic climate, many locally owned businesses like Monroe Rubber and Gasket are just one lawsuit away from closing their doors.” 
 
Carter’s company was first named in asbestos lawsuits four years ago, despite the fact that the company had not handled anything related to asbestos in more than 20 years. Even then, Monroe Rubber and Gasket was an intermediary seller of a small amount of materials containing encapsulated asbestos, a non-airborne material that remains legal to this day.
 
“I didn’t quite understand why we were receiving these [lawsuits] based on what we do here,” said Carter. “He observed that, given the economic downturn, several businesses in Monroe are closing, and the lawsuits against him may cost the town more jobs. “This could take us out of business

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