WASHINGTON, DC—A pool supply store owner, a youth baseball coach, an 11-year-old girl – all targets of abusive lawsuits – are now speaking out about their legal ordeals at www.FacesOfLawsuitAbuse.org. Their videos, part of a nationwide public awareness campaign by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), are designed to show that abusive lawsuits affect real people in very real ways.
“Abusive lawsuits are not victimless,” said ILR president Lisa Rickard. “Many people have the perception that lawsuits are primarily the concern of faceless, ‘deep-pocket’ corporations, yet small businesses and average families are also victims of these abusive suits.”
The website features a collection of video stories of lawsuit abuse victims, such as a Maryland pool supply owner who was sued for $750,000 when a wild goose nesting near his store startled a passerby, causing her to fall. The campaign, supported by a nationwide television, radio and on-line advertising effort, will run through early 2009.
“The people featured in this campaign all suffered real emotional and financial pain,” said Rickard. “By giving voices to their stories, we hope that Americans will understand that our lawsuit-happy culture is taking a toll on their friends, neighbors, and local businesses.”
A 2008 election-night poll found that 83 percent of overall voters believe the number of frivolous lawsuits is a serious problem, with strong majorities agreeing across the political spectrum.
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 of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation, representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.