ATRA states its disappointment in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision that certain public nuisance climate lawsuits can proceed in state court.
ATRA: ‘Follow the Trial Lawyers’’ Influence in Opioid Litigation
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 19, 2017 – Acknowledging the “growing scope, seriousness and complexity of our nation’s problems with the abuse of federally approved pain medication,” the American Tort Reform Association […]
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 19, 2017 – Acknowledging the “growing scope, seriousness and complexity of our nation’s problems with the abuse of federally approved pain medication,” the American Tort Reform Association today nonetheless urged the media and others to “follow the trial lawyers’ influence in developing litigation that, though ostensibly led by state attorneys general, has a clear link to private-sector personal injury lawyers.”
ATRA president Tiger Joyce conceded that, “The hiring of outside counsel by state attorneys general may be appropriate in some instances. But there have been many well-documented abuses of these arrangements,” including those reported for more than a decade by the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board and a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times series that showed how private-sector personal injury lawyers often shop their ideas for potentially lucrative lawsuits against corporate defendants to friendly state AGs they have supported politically.
“So it is most important that litigation initiated by state or local governments truly serves the public interest, and does not ultimately serve the self-interest of the plaintiffs’ bar,” Joyce continued. “Drawing a bright line between these obviously conflicting interests has been an ATRA policy priority for more than a decade, animating our drive to enact commonsense statutes – in 18 states thus far – that promote accountability and transparency when public authorities feel compelled to hire outside counsel to run major lawsuits.
“In fact, ATRA was part of the successful 2015 effort to enact such a statute in Ohio,” where Attorney General Mike DeWine has reportedly hired outside counsel as ‘consultants.’
“While AG DeWine appears to be complying with that 2015 law,” Joyce observed, “ATRA will closely monitor compliance, and we urge media watchdogs to do the same. The role of these lawyers will continue to be a focus for ATRA as recent accounts in the media suggest that this litigation can be expected to target additional defendants.
“After all, public health and safety must be the ultimate goals. Elected legislators and executives, and the expert regulators they appoint, must not leave such important policymaking to trial lawyers, especially when there are such obvious conflicts between public and private interests.
“We must avoid ‘regulation through litigation,’ which has long been recognized as a corrosive end-run around the separation of powers,” Joyce concluded.
The American Tort Reform Association, based in Washington, D.C., is the only national organization dedicated exclusively to tort and liability reform through public education and the enactment of legislation. Its members include nonprofit organizations and small and large companies, as well as trade, business and professional associations from the state and national level. The American Tort Reform Foundation is a sister organization dedicated primarily to research and public education.
Business leaders and tort reform advocates have welcomed changes that will limit punitive damage awards in Missouri, John Lewis of the St. Louis Record writes.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has an opportunity to redirect policy and push back on activist attorneys’ attempts to improperly expand public nuisance law. With Covid-19 public nuisance lawsuits coming, Tiger Joyce, president of the American Tort Reform Association, discusses the importance of the climate change lawsuit.
The Missouri legislature passed S.B. 591 to amend the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA) and the standards by which punitive damages are awarded.
ATRA is grateful to both President Trump’s administration and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for prioritizing liability protections for health care workers, manufacturers and business owners.
West Virginia Senate President Mitch Carmichael says legislation is being drafted to ensure liability protections to protect small business owners and workers, especially health care workers who are protecting our state’s citizens amid the Coronavirus pandemic, writes Chris Dickerson of the West Virginia Record.
Today, West Virginia Senate President Mitch Carmichael announced he is drafting legislation which aims to protect West Virginians from liability related to the COVID-19 pandemic. ATRA supports legislative action to […]
Louisiana lawyers spend millions soliciting their services and alarming citizens.
Senate Majority Leader Prioritizes Employer Liability Protection Shield
During a pandemic, where contagious people crowd spaces shared with the uninfected or the healthy, concern over liability is heightened, writes Brandi Buchanan of Courthouse News Service.
As businesses reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic, tort reformers are mobilizing to enact federal and state protections against an anticipated plethora of personal injury lawsuits, writes Amanda Bronstad of Law.com.