Recently, on a Fox television show John Stossel was interviewed. John Stossel was regularly on the television show 20/20, and has for many years attacked personal injury lawsuits and personal injury attorneys. I am not sure of his motivation for doing so. I heard rumors that he had a brother who was a doctor who had been sued and maybe he has a bias against being held accountable for mistakes. It was interesting in the clip that he is asked by the interviewer about a time when he sued a boxer for hitting him. A perfect statement was made about that by the interviewer. She said you can hate lawyers until you need a lawyer.
It is interesting that he publishes such a story in the wake of the BP oil spill disaster, which more than ever demonstrates the need for full accountability, and the necessity of all types of lawsuits, including personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. Companies must be held accountable for their mistakes, and thank God for personal injury and wrongful death lawyers helping families and victims of accidents.
Our firm has helped thousands of victims of accidents, including all types of personal injury cases, accidents, wrongful death, sexual assaults, food poisoning, slip and fall accidents, automobile accidents, and victims of medical negligence.
Of course companies do not want to be held accountable, and the best defense is a good offense. Therefore, attack the lawyers and all personal injury lawsuits, as this newscaster is attempting to do. We have helped thousands of victims receive fair and just compensations for claims against the cruise ship companies for their wrongful acts, including helping families who lost loved ones due to a disappearance onboard a cruiseship. Our firm represented the parents of George Smith, the honeymooner who disappeared during his honeymoon cruise aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. The parents utilized the legal system not just to seek compensation for their tragic loss, but in an attempt to obtain critical and useful information in order to find out what happened to their son. We have helped other families who have lost loved ones onboard passenger cruise ships.
When I first watched the interview of John Stossel attacking personal injury lawsuits, it infuriated me because he simply gives a few examples of what may be an abuse of the system, as is present in any system. However, he fails to focus on the entire purpose of personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death lawsuits, which is to hold people accountable through our court system by holding them responsible for their negligence, and causing positive change in our society by making products safer, cruise ships safer, drugs safer, and providing for an overall safer society.
The attempt by companies to blame personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death lawsuits for increasing the business costs, and of course affecting their products, is an attempt to divert our attention from the reality, which is that companies must be held accountable in order for them to act more responsible. In fact, the cruise ship company has currently been lobbying very strongly in Congress to avoid the passage of new legislation regarding the Death on the High Seas Act, which is a Federal Statute that applies to claims for wrongful death occurring on the high seas, and which currently significantly limits the amount of recovery family members who have lost their loved ones may recover. The law is archaic, and makes no sense. It simply protects the wrongdoer from paying fair and just compensation for the wrongful death of another. Because of the BP oil spill cases resulting in death of oil rig workers, the spotlight is on the Death on the High Seas Act, and has resulted in a positive movement to amend the death on the High Seas Act to remove the limitation on the recovery of non-pecuniary damages. Our maritime and admiralty law firm handled a case where a family lost their 15 year old daughter onboard a passenger cruise ship when she went overboard and disappeared. Because of the Death on the High Seas Act, the damages available to the family were limited to the amount of funeral expenses, a minimal amount.
I have testified in Congress regarding Maritime Laws and safety aboard cruise ships, and the need for change in the current laws. There have been positive movements towards changing laws dealing with cruise ship safety. Recently, the House passed the amended version of the Death on the High Seas Act removing the limitation of damages available to family members, and the legislation is now with the Senate for consideration. Hopefully, the BP oil disaster has called enough attention to this archaic law, and the Death on the High Seas Act will shortly be changed and families who have lost their loved ones will be able to obtain fair and just compensation for their lost, including losses that occur aboard cruise ships.