Myth #1: Lawsuits Cost Every Family in America Hundreds of Dollars Each Year – the So-Called “Lawsuit Tax”
The first rule of thumb to know about whether you should believe what your being told (or sold) is to follow the money. Consider that the effort to scare you about how your way of life is being threatened by lawsuits, lawyers or litigation has been paid for by oil, drug, tobacco and insurance industries. The “studies” that they point to in repeating these false assertions were funded by the same industries that stand to benefit by the results. Now, consider what motive the oil, drug, tobacco and insurance industries have in promoting false studies to scare the public and convince them that lawsuits are harmful.
It is the oil, drug, tobacco and insurance industries that stand to gain if people do not conuslt with attorneys or seek for redress of the harms caused by these same industries. It is these immensely profitable industries that can and do cause immeasurable harm with their products. Fewer lawsuits means fewer claims against these industries which translates to less accountability and greater profits.
These studies, such as the Towers Perrins Annual Study, have been discredited. This particular study, in assessing the cost of litigation to society, included the multimillion dollar salaries and bonuses for insurance company CEOs, rent on office buildings and payouts for the most simple fender benders. Business Week called the conclusions a wild exaggeration. Worse, the Towers Perrins reports ingore the benefits of the tort system to society. The Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit nonpartisan think tank in Washington D.C., concluded that nearly half of the “costs” of the tort system described in the Towers Perrin study are actually payments made from wrongdoes to injured people for lost wages, property damage and medical care. Imagine, the tobacco industry claiming that making them pay for the damage they cause by their products should not be paid because its bad for the country. Or what about an insurance industry claiming that they should not have to pay out the premium dollars they have collected to pay covered claims. Can you say cynical? Think about it next time you read about the need for tort refom. Take a look at who is behind the claims and what they have to gain by convincing you to go along with it.