Personal Injury Lawyers, Personal Injury Law Under Attack, Consumers Hurting; NAPIL Survey Finds

The findings of a recent survey on "Legal Prudence and the American Jury" conducted by indicate significant problems with personal injury laws and the American jury system.

A primary finding uncovered in the survey identifies the proliferation of plaintiff-unfriendly legal practices as one of the major problems facing the civil justice system today. Major corporations, such as insurance companies, drug manufacturers, US Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with other pro-business proponents of tort reform legislation, have systematically engaged in a deliberate and persistent campaign against plaintiffs, their lawyers, and consumer protection laws.

In an effort to gain support for limiting the breadth of consumer protection, these so-called tort reform advocates argue that American corporations are all under siege by immoral, unscrupulous trial lawyers who file unmeritorious lawsuits and rely on unethical tactics for the purposes of obtaining large, unjustified verdicts.

This "tort reform" lobbying tactic has gained much momentum during the past 15 years, utilizing various biased media outlets to effectively target and label the injured victims of corporate callousness as opportunists who are attempting to capitalize on their blameless misfortune. To this end, the focus has been narrowed to "personal responsibility," claiming that victims of corporate negligence simply "should have been more careful."

The result of these tenacious "tort reform" tactics is a severe bias among potential jurors who routinely blame plaintiffs for increased insurance costs, and either rule against plaintiffs or award insufficient damages.

The ultimate risk is that "tort reform" rhetoric could lead to arcane legislation such as the MICRA laws, which burden only plaintiffs who have suffered the most horrific injuries, restricting their non-economic damages to no more than $250,000.'s mission as a consumer rights advocate opposes the pro-profiteering corporate tort reform lobby, seeking to educate the public and ensure that those who have been wrongfully harmed receive just compensation for their injuries. A well-informed populace will result in objective jurors and voters as well as empowered, well-versed plaintiffs' attorneys who can effectively represent injured consumers in a court of law.

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