I think the word they use is hypocritical. I have previously reported in a blog about John Stossel going on TV and attacking the jury system in the United States and lawsuits in general. John Stossel continues to attack our system, and attack the attorneys who represent individuals who have been injured as a result of the negligence of others.
In his blog New York personnel injury law blog, attorney Eric Turkewitz. Turkewitz quotes from a magazine interview where Stossel referred to personal injury lawyers as his “mortal enemy”. This strikes me as amusing because why in the world would Stossel need to consider personal injury lawyers as his “mortal enemy”. Surely, he has more of a life than that to have to focus on personal injury lawyers as being his “mortal enemy”.
As I previously reported, and Turkewitz discusses, Stossel previously ran to a personal injury lawyer in the legal system to seek redress when he was hit by a professional wrestler after calling wrestling fake.
How could personal injury lawyers be referred to as “the mortal enemy” when day in and day out they are making our society safer for people to live in, and helping the disadvantage obtained fair and just compensation when they are harmed by another wrongfully? Our firm handles Maritime personal injury and wrongful death cases on behalf of passengers and crewmembers. Our crewmembers come from third world countries. They are exploited by the shipping companies by requiring them to work excessive amount of hours, seven days a week, and at the same time paying them slave labor wages. Often times, the wages are less than a dollar per hour. The conditions they live in have been described as horrible in the past. The working environment they are subjected to is very dangerous. In fact, the fact that they are so disadvantaged with respect to the shipping companies, and that they have to work under harsh conditions, has lead to recognition by the courts that they should be considered “wards of the court”, with the need for extra protection.
It is through the efforts of personal injury attorneys, like our firm, that individuals such as the crewmembers who work aboard the numerous cruise ships, are able to fight back against large corporations when they are harmed due to harmful conduct. All individuals are entitled to fight back when they get slapped, not just John Stossel. The way individuals fight back when they get slapped is through our civil jury system by exercising the constitutional right to a jury trial. While there may be stories out there where our system appears to have failed, leading to what many people would describe as runaway verdicts or outrageous verdicts, the vast majority of the cases prove that our judicial system is the greatest system in the world. It is individuals like Stossel who for some reason, has a motive or interest in attacking our judicial system and personal injury lawyers, that threaten this system.
It is possible that the wrestler hit Stossel with such force that his judgment has been affected and he forgot that it was the judicial system that permitted him to sue the wrestler that hit him and to obtain a large settlement.
While different individuals will have different opinions regarding the judicial system, and reported verdicts that one hears about, it has been my experience that most jurors who participate in a jury trial state afterwards that the experience showed them how great our system is, and re-enforced their belief in our jury system.
There are endless stories of the success trial lawyers have obtained on behalf of their clients, and how they have contributed to making our society a better place. Lawyers have improved products that were dangerous, including products that are sold to children. Lawyers have improved conditions in nursing homes. Lawyers have made automobiles safer through their efforts in bringing to light defects which injure and kill people every day. Lawyers have caused pharmaceutical companies to be held accountable when they manufacture and market unsafe medications. Lawyers have exposed pharmaceutical companies who have intentionally marketed products knowing of their dangers, and take steps to hide those dangers from the public.
We have helped thousands of crewmembers from third world countries who are taken advantage of, and would have had no means of any compensation if it were not for the judicial system. Over the almost thirty years I have been doing maritime cases, I have seen significant improvements in the safety aboard cruise ships which I attribute in large part to the lawsuits that have been brought against the cruise ship companies resulting in their accountability for the harms they were causing to crewmembers and passengers.
Again one must question the reasons and motivations for Stossel’s rampage on our judicial system. Turkewitz in his blog lists five theories, and also has a very enlightening discussion about Stossel.
Our firm continues to fight for all the benefits our maritime clients are entitled to, including the constitutional right to a jury trial. We will continue to fight for those rights, and hope that the so called tort reformers are never seriously injured by the negligence of another, as I do not wish anyone to suffer an injury. However, as Turkewitz states, tort reformers appear to be people who have never been seriously injured by the negligence of another and therefore have not had to utilize our judicial system to seek redress for their injuries.