WASHINGTON, D.C.—Beginning tomorrow, Denver-area moviegoers could see a short trailer featuring a Colorado couple whose seven-year-old son was sued over a minor skiing accident. 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 Denver 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 the Swimm family’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 Scott Swimm, who, at seven years old, avoided colliding with an adult skier who abruptly turned while skiing in front of him. However, in reacting, Scott passed over the man’s skis, causing the two to fall. While Scott may have prevented a bodily collision, he could not avoid an abusive lawsuit filed by the adult against him and his family. “I believe the lawyers used Scott and his age as a pawn to get across a certain fear that “we’re going to hurt your child more if you don’t pay us,’” says Scott’s father, Robb Swimm, in the trailer. The Swimms were eventually forced to settle due to the financial and emotional tolls of fighting the abusive lawsuit.
“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.