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“Do As I Say, Not As I Sue” Report Exposes Hypocrisy of Tort Reform Proponents

We have often reported on the wide range of causes of Illinois brain injuries, from car accidents to sporting collisions. Another of the most common causes of permanent brain damage involves medical neglect. When doctors, nurses, or other caregivers fail to act reasonable, at certain times a life-long, debilitating brain injury may result which should have been prevented. When that occurs, the victims usually file amedical malpractices lawsuit. This is one reason why all those who have suffered one of these injuries should be concerned about the efforts of big business and insurance companies to limit the ability of brain injury victims to recover for their losses. But the problem runs deeper than medical malpractice limits. Many of the biggest tort reform proponents are pushing to take away victims’ rights in a wide range of areas that could have effects on all types of Illinois brain injury victims.

Considering the zeal with which many of these big interests attack the civil justice system, one would be safe to assume that no negligence victims would be secure in their rights if these interests had their way. The justice system is so often attacked by certain organizations, businesses, and industries, that it would seem that those antagonizes would do everything in their power to stay away from that system in all capacities.

However, that is not quite the case. As a new American Association of Justice report reveals, many businesses that ridicule the justice system are active users of it so long as it is for their own benefit. Sadly, much hypocrisy is at the root of efforts to enact tort reform. The new report exposing that hypocrisy, entitled “Do As I Say, Not As I Sue,” focuses on the practices of the ten member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s “Institute for Legal Reform” (ILR). The ILR is one of the most vocal and active bodies speaking out for taking away basic legal rights from citizens hurt by the misconduct of others. Yet, as the report shows, the zeal for dismantling the justice system seems only to apply to other people, not their own interests.

For example, one ILR board member, Honeywell International, systematically takes competitors to court when they feel that they have been wronged. Of course they are not pushing for any limits on their own ability to recover in those situations. Yet, when the shoe is on the other foot and Honeywell is the defendant in a case-such as when they were accused of selling defective body armor to police officers or downplaying the angers of asbestos-the company suddenly feels that the justice system is out-out-hand. The hypocrisy behind the varying positions is painfully clear. It bespeaks of a deep-seated supreme interest in doing and saying whatever increases the company’s bottom line at any particular moment. It is hypocrisy that must be stood up against.

Our Chicago injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti are happy to devote each day to helping victims of careless and reckless conduct throughout our city and state. We will continue to fight against the hypocritical conduct of so many big industries which seek to limit the justice system’s ability to help regular community members, while keeping it in place for the businesses themselves. The same rules need to apply to everyone, and the right to have a jury decide all the issues in a dispute should be respected as the nation’s Founders intended. If you or someone that you know suffered head trauma or an injury to the brain we encourage you to speak with a Chicago brain injury lawyer to seek redress, ensure accountability, and push for important safety changes that could spare a future victim.

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