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Jim Lewis
Jim Lewis
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Double Talk: Chamber of Commerce Tries to Have It Both Ways with Access to Litigation

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The Chamber of Commerce is one of the biggest proponents of so-called “tort reform” which penalizes victims by denying access to the civil justice system and places an arbitrary cap on economic damages. These proposed “reforms” would hurt every day Americans while benefitting negligent doctors and hospitals along with all-about-profit insurance companies.

Given the disdain the Chamber appears to have towards our civil litigation system, it seems rather odd that the President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Tom Donohue, called litigation a “powerful tool” that helps ensure federal agencies follow the law and are “held accountable.”

You should also know that the Chamber initiates more than two lawsuits every single week. You read that correctly – two lawsuits submitted to a court of law every single week of the year. And yet they complain of frivolous lawsuits in our legal system?

The Chamber’s actions are a clear display of hypocrisy. They want to have their cake and eat it to. The Chamber rails against trail lawyers, but their organization actually utilizes our litigation system at a rate that would make even the most aggressive trial lawyer blush.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the Chamber spends most of its time and resources advocating for the deplorable actions of some of the worst corporate malfeasance. For example, the Chamber supports the actions of Wall Street banks that drove the country’s economy into turmoil, tried to force workers, instead of employers, to pay for their own safety equipment, opposed measures allowing workers to receive a rest period during a full work day, and spent years defending big tobacco, asbestos companies and chemical companies found to have contaminated water and air, according to the American Association of Justice.

The Chamber has every legal right to utilize our litigation system. But don’t criticize and run campaigns against trial lawyers, a group of professionals who regularly represent working people who’ve been seriously injured, while you take advantage of the legal system. It’s double talk, plain and simple.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices ) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono service to consumers.

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