TorteDeForm

Cyrus Dugger

Tort “Reform” Hypocrites Vol. 6

This series highlights the work of the Center for Justice and Democracy and others 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 sixth showcase is Citizens for a Strong Ohio Advisory Board Member R. Emmett Boyle:

Citizens for a Strong Ohio Advisory Board Member R. Emmett Boyle

In 1996, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce lobbied for a package of laws that made it more difficult or impossible for
injured Ohio citizens to sue wrongdoers and be fairly compensated for their injuries. 23 On August 16, 1999, the
Ohio Supreme Court struck down this package of laws in its entirety, calling it “openly subversive of the separation of powers and, in particular, of the judicial system” established by the Ohio Constitution. State ex rel. Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers v. Sheward, 86 Ohio St.3d 451 (1999). During the 2000 elections, Citizens for a Strong Ohio, a group created by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce,24 spent an estimated $5 million to oust Supreme Court Justice Alice Robie Resnick, who wrote the Sheward decision.25 Yet when it comes to his own company, Citizens for a Strong Ohio Advisory Board Member R. Emmett Boyle does not hesitate to sue. In 1995, Boyle’s company, Ormet Primary Aluminum Corporation, sued Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s of London, Employers Insurance of Wausau, Globe Indemnity Company and Home Indemnity Company, seeking coverage for environmental contamination at its Hannibal, Ohio reduction facility and remediation costs. After five years of litigation, the Ohio Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s decision to throw the case out, finding that the company had known it was liable for the contamination yet waited 16 years before notifying its insurers. Ormet Primary Aluminum Corporation v. Employers Insurance of Wausau et al., 88 Ohio St.3d 292 (2000). - CJ&D

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Posted at 9:38 AM, Feb 28, 2007 in
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Comments

This post is yet another example of the dishonesty of CJD & Cyrus Dugger: there is no hypocrisy or contradiction in arguing on the one hand that it is inappropriate for judges to act as super-legislators who act only on behalf of their plaintiffs'-bar supporters and on the other that courts should resolve contractual disputes.

Posted by: Ted | February 28, 2007 10:28 AM

Cyrus: Do you believe that a party injured by the carelessness of a lawyer on the other side should have access to the court to be made whole?

Do you believe that juries are good enough to regulate the lawyer profession in torts claims?

Or do you believe that only judges can understand the lawyer business and are solely qualified to regulate their good friends, the lawyers?

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | February 28, 2007 6:13 PM

Cyrus's post also demonstrates the ridiculousness of the repeated post we see here on Tortdeform: "Such-and-such legislature passed tort reform, but malpractice premiums haven't dropped. This proves that litigation abuse isn't the problem." Whether a legislature passes tort reform is irrelevant, because the courts may just strike it all down, as the Ohio Supreme Court did in the instance cited.

Posted by: David Nieporent | March 4, 2007 3:06 AM