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May 6, 2009

Movie Trailer Featuring Louisiana Small Business Fighting Abusive Lawsuits to be Shown in Baton Rouge-Area Theaters

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Starting tomorrow, Baton Rouge-area moviegoers could see a short trailer featuring Louisiana small business employees whose livelihoods are at stake due to the more than 100 mass action lawsuits filed against their employer. The video, one of four movie trailers released nationwide as part of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform’s (ILR) Faces of Lawsuit Abuse campaign, will begin airing in select Baton Rouge theaters on May 8 and continue through the month.

“Lawsuits are turning the American dream into a litigation horror film,” said ILR President Lisa Rickard. “This movie trailer about Monroe Rubber and Gasket’s legal nightmare warns that even those who play by the rules can still have their lives turned upside-down by costly, frivolous lawsuits.”
 
The trailer tells the story of Monroe, LA small business owner Mike Carter, whose company, Monroe Rubber and Gasket, is currently defending itself against more than 100 asbestos lawsuits. The suits have been filed despite the fact that the company has not handled anything related to asbestos in more than 20 years. Even then, the company was an intermediary seller of a small amount of materials containing encapsulated asbestos, a non-airborne material that remains legal to this day. “This could take us out of business,” says Carter in the trailer. “It’s just sad because I’ve got a group of people here that work with me. And it’s their livelihoods on the line.”  

“Lawsuit abuse and the harm it brings to our citizens and small businesses is one of the great American tragedies today,” said Rickard. “That’s why the silver screen is the perfect venue for the Faces of Lawsuit Abuse trailers. The only difference between the feature presentation and these short films is that the damage, the costs, the winners and losers that are featured aren’t fiction—they are true stories.”

The trailers can be found at www.FacesofLawsuitAbuse.org/shortfilms/. The ILR-sponsored campaign includes the Web site, www.FacesofLawsuitAbuse.org, which features a collection of longer videos about small businesses and individuals across the country who have dealt with abusive lawsuits. The effort is supported by a national television, internet and radio ad campaign.

ILR seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the national, state, and local levels.

The U.S. Chamber is the world’s largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.

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