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Personal Injury News Nationwide October 22, 2003

"Senate votes on class action status"

The Senate has voted and failed to pass the class action bill that would result in benefits for large companies and injured consumers. Public Citizen consumer group had been actively opposing the bill and issued a press release stating “the bill would have given corporate defendants an undue advantage in fighting legitimate lawsuits involving consumer fraud and unfair workplace practices.” The group saw the defeat as a great victory and said that they “commend them for stopping a bill that would have closed the courthouse door on millions of consumers.”

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October 20, 2003

"Public Citizen consumer group urges consumers to protect their rights"
The Senate will be voting on a measure that would violate consumer and workers rights by taking away the ability to get class action lawsuit ruling in every state and sending it instead to federal court. Corporations believe the passing of this measure would give them a large advantage since it is harder to get cases approved for consideration in federal courts, federal judges are more conservative in law interpretation, and crowded court dockets could delay justice for months and even years in some instances. The consumer advocacy group urges all citizens to lobby against the legislation in order to protect the rights of everyone. Contact Us to speak with a personal injury lawyer for your legal rights!

July 15, 2003

"Personal injury proposal unfair says Public Citizen"
The Public Citizen consumer group told the Utah state’s bar to reject a personal injury proposal. The group believes the personal injury proposal, which is also being considered in 12 other states, would unfairly burden injured plaintiffs, is far too broad, and could result in some consumers not being represented by counsel. President of Public Citizen, Joan Claybrook thinks that the personal injury proposal would only worsen things because “the proposal is far too broad and too simplistic” (citizen.org, 7/15/03).

Utah’s personal injury proposal is seeking to change the system that compensates personal injury lawyers but is flawed, according to the consumer group, because fee restriction will require the plaintiff to pay, and not the defendant. In addition, the personal injury changes would be based on the assumption that plaintiff attorneys have no risk in early settlement personal injury cases while requiring the personal injury attorneys to record their hours, which is not standard practice.

The group that has been associated to the personal injury proposal has not yet even shown any empirical evidence, according to Public Citizen, to support their desires for the personal injury restrictions. The business-connected group, Common Good proposes that plaintiff personal injury attorney fees are limited to an hourly fee if an early personal injury settlement offer is accepted and can only charge contingency fees if providing a “notice of injury” to the defendant, a disadvantage according to Public Citizen.

By having to make a “notice of injury” the defendant is able to have access to important information about the personal injury claims in deciding how to make a personal injury settlement offer but does not in return have to disclose any information or make a personal injury settlement offer at all. The personal injury lawyer failing to provide the notice will have the hourly fee limit applied.

For more information on personal injury contact us to confer with a personal injury lawyer. The director of the Public Citizen thinks that, “Consumers across the state of Utah and in other states should not be the subject of this kind of mass, uncontrolled experiment. This proposal also fails to recognize that the contingency fee system makes it possible for those who have been injured to have their day in court. This proposal would chip away at that essential right” (citizen.org, 7/15/03).

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