Little League Lawsuit Epitomizes Big Time Problems for America’s Legal System
A few weeks ago a 13-year-old in New Jersey was sued after he overthrew a baseball and accidently hit a spectator while warming up in the bullpen for a Little League game.
Seeking more than $150,000 in damages to cover medical costs and an undefined amount for “pain and suffering,” the plaintiff alleges the kid’s errant throw was intentional and reckless. Apparently, there’s no such thing as an accident without a lawsuit anymore. It seems the idea of “jackpot justice” is just too alluring for some, even if it means forcing a 13-year-old to hire a defense attorney.
This incident is just the kind of example that fuels the public perception that America’s legal system has gone awry. Is it any wonder then that a new nationwide poll found the vast majority of voters are concerned about the impact of rampant litigation on U.S. jobs and the economy?
According to the survey, a strong majority of voters – 89 percent – believe lawsuit abuse is a problem. This view is shared across the political spectrum, with 94 percent of Republicans, 89 percent of Independents and 86 percent of Democrats all in agreement.
The poll also found 78 percent of registered voters polled believe the nation suffers from too many lawsuits, while 72 percent agree that our liability lawsuit system negatively impacts the country’s ability to compete in the world as it raises the cost of doing business and limits investment in jobs here. According to the survey, three out of four voters are more likely to vote for candidates for public office who support reforms to reduce the excessive litigation that currently plagues our system.
The results of this national survey, which was conducted by Luce Research for the American Tort Reform Association and the grassroots organization Sick of Lawsuits between July 11-19, 2012, are consistent with a statewide poll conducted by Southern Media in Louisiana last year.
So what should we make of this? The bottom line is voters in Louisiana and across the country do not believe our current legal system is working, and they want to change it. In the context of the upcoming political elections, it also means candidates must start working to make legal reform a top priority. Clearly, voters understand that lawsuit reform is not a partisan issue-it is a jobs issue-and candidates on both sides of the aisle need to start paying attention.
Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch
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