COVID-19 Litigation Poll

With a new presidential administration officially at the helm, public support for aid to small businesses and others impacted by the pandemic remains high.

new survey released by the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) shows broad bipartisan support for elected officials to respond to pandemic-related issues — rather than trial lawyers filing lawsuits to address such concerns. 

Key findings from the poll show: 

  • 74% of respondents said the government should support small businesses affected by COVID-19 with grants or loans, versus 6% who said lawyers should help small businesses pursue legal claims instead. 
  • 59% of respondents agree that elected officials should aid those harmed by the pandemic, rather than trial lawyers.  

Approximately two-thirds (65%) of respondents agree with the notion that trial lawyer TV ads seek to take advantage of people and are annoying. Further, a mere 26% of respondents believe trial lawyers’ use of PPP loans to purchase TV advertisements was an appropriate use of taxpayer-funded relief efforts. 

“Our polling data show that Americans are tired of trial lawyers’ schemes. When it comes to COVID-19 recovery efforts, the evidence is clear – a majority of Americans want their elected officials — not trial lawyers — to handle COVID-19 relief and aid.” 

ATRA President Tiger Joyce

Despite the lack of public support for litigation related to COVID-19, trial lawyers’ advertisements related to just that have increased nationwide. According to The Wall Street Journal, many top law firms received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. Consequently, some firms spent those dollars to increase their advertising.  

“Across the country, unscrupulous litigators use their trial lawyer playbook to exploit the coronavirus pandemic for profit. Whether they’re clogging the courts with unnecessary, meritless litigation, or recruiting celebrities to help spin their narrative, the decreased court access and increased costs on goods and services due to expensive litigation harms everyday Americans.” 

ATRA President Tiger Joyce

The nationwide omnibus survey was conducted by Echelon Insights regarding COVID-19-related litigation. Additional polling data is available here.