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Press Release

    Backing an End to Lawsuit Abuse

    05/12/2004

    Letter to West Virginia State Legislature

    We, the undersigned organizations, are advocating for significant and necessary litigation reform in West Virginia on behalf of tens of thousands of citizens in our state. Although we represent varying causes and political affiliations, we agree that as host to the second-worst legal system in the United States, West Virginia is being significantly harmed by judges who have catered to the get-rich-quick schemes of trial lawyers looking to score big. This has forced enormous liability payments onto West Virginia businesses, manufacturers, doctors and others.

    In fact, excessive lawsuits cost the average American nearly $809 per year. West Virginians' burden exceeds this amount!

    Economic viability and growth remain at the forefront of West Virginia's agenda. As a legislator, you are well aware of the challenges that have made and continue to make this progress so difficult. Moreover, every step needs to be taken to help West Virginia overcome the mountain of challenges it faces to become an attractive place to do business.

    West Virginia is notorious for its “slot machine” jurisdictions, where almost any plaintiff is sure to win big from obviously biased judges. We must take action to prevent this from happening. The Mississippi state legislators have taken steps to address these problems in their state. West Virginia should position itself as a leader in reform and do the same.

    West Virginia courts, from the Supreme Court on down, must stop hearing unnecessary court cases that waste public resources and cost doctors and small businesses millions of dollars each year. We must change the climate in our courts before our state’s medical and business leaders are forced into exodus through the excessive costs of doing business. If the legislature considers legal reform legislation in the coming months, we would hope you would take into consideration the huge impact this issue has on economic growth and the economic viability of West Virginia and its citizens.

    Sincerely,

    Citizens for a Sound Economy

    Citizens Against Government Waste

    Americans for Tax Reform