Industry group pushes for legal liability reforms

WASHINGTON, D.C.: A business and industry group co-chaired by Martin Zimmerman, Ford’s VP for governmental affairs, is pushing legislation that would give the public a choice to avoid protracted litigation in product and medical liability cases.

WASHINGTON, D.C.: A business and industry group co-chaired by Martin Zimmerman, Ford’s VP for governmental affairs, is pushing legislation that would give the public a choice to avoid protracted litigation in product and medical liability cases.

WASHINGTON, D.C.: A business and industry group co-chaired by

Martin Zimmerman, Ford’s VP for governmental affairs, is pushing

legislation that would give the public a choice to avoid protracted

litigation in product and medical liability cases.



Under the proposed reforms, people could choose to pursue immediate

recovery for economic losses, thus giving up their right to sue at a

later date for pain and suffering as well as punitive damages.



Manufacturers say they would be happy to pay up front, thus avoiding

both the costs of drawn-out litigation and especially the skilled PR

tactics of trial lawyers and the agencies they employ - which get

widespread media attention regardless of which side wins the

litigation.



’The real value of this proposal is that it takes nothing away from

anyone, but offers a choice to consumers,’ said Zimmerman.



Trial lawyers are likely to disagree - after all, they stand to lose

higher contingency fees from inflated awards in protracted litigation

involving pain and suffering and punitive damages - and are mounting a

PR charge against the proposed legislation.



According to Zimmerman, the proposal has widespread bipartisan support,

with House Majority Leader Dick Armey having already sponsored a bill

supporting Zimmerman’s position. ’And (House Minority Leader) Dick

Gephardt has introduced a similar bill in the past,’ Zimmerman added.



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