Watchdog group launches Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week

The SE Texas Record Oct. 1, 2007, 5:40am

AUSTIN� Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse groups across Texas are celebrating Oct. 1-5 as Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week (LAAW), an annual commemoration to call attention to how lawsuit abuse threatens the healthcare system, costs jobs, increases consumer prices and can cripple small businesses.

Austin-based CALA of Central Texas will recognize the week by running the radio advertisement "Why" on Central Texas airwaves to remind Texans why they should care about lawsuit abuse. The ad also will air in Houston, Corpus Christi and Rio Grande Valley markets.

Representatives of CALA of Central Texas also will accept proclamations by Hays County and Williamson counties recognizing LAAW. The proclamations will be presented Tuesday, Oct. 2, during meetings of the counties' commissioners courts.

"Lawsuit abuse is alive and well as recently demonstrated by the now-infamous $57 million lawsuit against a dry cleaner over a lost pair of pants," said Connie Scott, executive director of Bay Area Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse. "Although the dry cleaner won in court, the owners shuttered their business in the wake of a single, ridiculous lawsuit. Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week is critical because these kinds of abuses continue."

"You don't have to be involved in a court case for lawsuit abuse to affect you," said Bill Summers, president and founder of CALA of the Rio Grande Valley. "Even if you never step foot in a courthouse, lawsuit abuse drives up costs and siphons money out family pocketbooks."

This past year, Tillinghast-Towers Perrin estimated that our lawsuit system costs $880 for every man, woman and child in America � or $3,500 for a family of four.

The CALA radio advertisement goes on to describe how lawsuit abuse can threaten our healthcare system by slowing down life-saving medical research and reducing access to medical care.

"Despite significant reforms in Texas, some personal injury lawyers are eyeing the pockets of healthcare providers, looking for new ways to sue," said Kirsten Voinis, spokesperson for CALA of Central Texas. "While reforms went far in putting the brakes on the medical liability lawsuit gravy train, lawsuits continue to threaten our health care system so we must remain vigilant."

For more information about Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse or to listen to the radio advertisement, please visit or

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