Kentucky Trial Lawyers Spend $7.2 Million in Major Media Markets

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APRIL 9, 2019 (WASHINGTON) – Today, the American Tort Reform Association released a study showing spending on TV ads by trial lawyers in Kentucky’s largest media markets. If it feels […]


APRIL 9, 2019 (WASHINGTON) – Today, the American Tort Reform Association released a study showing spending on TV ads by trial lawyers in Kentucky’s largest media markets.

If it feels as though ads screaming “Don’t settle for quick cash – call now to get what you’re entitled to,” flash across the screen nearly every commercial break, it’s because they do. In the second and third quarters of 2018 (April 1 – September 30), nearly 6 million ads for legal services aired on local broadcast networks in the 210 local media markets across the U.S. – totaling $412 million in spending to purchase these ads.

Kentucky’s top media market, Louisville, saw more than $5 million spent in its local television market to air nearly 74,000 trial lawyer ads between April and September of 2018. Louisville area viewers saw 420 legal services ads every day – that’s 17 times as many ads as viewers saw for pizza delivery and restaurants.

In the Lexington media market, spending totaled $2.2 million to air nearly 50,000 trial lawyer advertisements in the same time span. During the third quarter alone, a daily average of $13,000 were spent to air 275 ads per day – that means these ads ran nine times as often as ads for home centers and hardware stores.

H.B. 225, sponsored by Rep. Kimberly Poore Moser (R – Temple Hill), would have addressed these deceptive lawsuit advertising and solicitation practices, but the bill died in this year’s legislative session.

“This bill aimed to protect citizens from deceptive marketing tactics that unfortunately have unintended consequences,” American Tort Reform Association President Tiger Joyce said. “Oftentimes, a TV ad with a lawyer speaking might claim a certain prescription or medical device may cause harm, and without consulting a doctor, viewers who are prescribed these medications may cease use due to the fear created by unfounded advertisements.”

A Public Opinion Strategies survey found that three-quarters of Americans saw ads by law firms about pharmaceutical lawsuits in 2016. Further, the survey states that one-in-four people who saw one of these ads concerning a medicine they take, say they would immediately stop taking the medicine without consulting their doctor.

“We know these ads may be irritating or even comical at times, but they absolutely have negative effects on consumers,” Joyce said. “I’m disappointed that the legislature failed to act on a bill that would have empowered Kentuckians to make important health decisions with their primary care physicians instead of at the suggestion of a television lawyer.”

The FDA found that 61 patients stopped using their prescribed blood-thinner medications, Xarelto or Pradaxa, after viewing these commercials in 2016. Six of the patients died – three from stroke, one from cardiac arrest, one from a pulmonary embolism, and one from an unreported cause.

These ads have been directly associated with patients’ deaths. Dr. Ilana Kutinsky, doctor for one of the deceased, was quoted in Forbes saying: “Patients are dying because they are afraid to take the medications prescribed for them due to the fear brought on by these negative and one-sided campaigns.”

To view the full report on trial lawyer advertising in Kentucky, visit ATRA.org.

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