Cyrus Dugger

Hypocrites of Tort “Reform” Vol. 2

This series highlights the work of the Center for Justice and Democracy in identifying proponents of tort “reform” who have sought to limit access to the courts, but who when financially or physically injured waste no time in going to the very courthouse they made inaccessible to others.

As the Center for Justice and Democracy explains:

"No one likes a hypocrite. Yet one would be hard pressed to find more hypocrites than in the 'tort reform' movement. Take a look at the record of a host of lawmakers, lobbyists and even journalists who complain about lawsuits and argue that the rights of injured consumers to go to court should be scaled back because we are too 'litigious.' Yet when they or family members are hurt and need compensation for their own injuries, often minor ones, these same individuals do not hesitate to use the courts to obtain compensation, to right a wrong, to hold a wrongdoer accountable or to obtain justice."

Our second showcase from the Center for Justice and Democracy study is ABC News Correspondent John Stossel.

"ABC News Correspondent John Stossel As 20/20 viewers know, there are few things that irk John Stossel more than people who file lawsuits. “We all have pain and suffering in our lives. And if each time we hang onto it until we get some kind of compensation, society can’t work,” he says. When speaking before corporate-funded groups such as the Cato and Manhattan Institutes, organizations whose members advocate severely restricting the ability of injured consumers to sue companies for their injuries, he can barely contain his contempt for those who file lawsuits and the attorneys who represent them. But what did John Stossel do when a pro wrestler hit him in 1986 after Stossel implied pro wrestling was fake? He sued. And in settling his lawsuit, Stossel reportedly accepted $200,000 for his pain and suffering."

To read more examples from the Center for Justice and Democracy, click here.

If you or your organization is interested in learning more about or working on these types of civil justice issues, please feel free to contact me at

Cyrus Dugger
Senior Fellow in Civil Justice
Drum Major Institute for Public Policy

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Posted at 11:01 AM, Oct 12, 2006 in Hypocrites of Tort "Reform"
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