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Business lobby groups create anti-lawsuit ad campaign

A group of businesses and the lobby groups that represent them are reportedly creating a statewide advertising campaign in Louisiana, with the admitted goal of pressuring state legislatures to implement limits on civil lawsuits in the state. One of the targets of the ad campaign is asbestos lawsuits, which the lobby groups claim are "frivolous" lawsuits that harm the state's "business climate."

According to the recent announcement from two organizations that represent several business lobby groups in Louisiana, the businesses and lobbyists will soon create and air 30-second radio commercials and online advertisements calling attention to asbestos lawsuits and other "frivolous" claims in the state. The goal of the ads will be to increase pressure on lawmakers to pass legislation that will limit the potential damages that civil plaintiffs can recover, and, essentially, make it more difficult for asbestos litigation and similar claims to succeed.

In support of their ads, business groups are claiming that personal injury attorneys "drum up cookie-cutter lawsuits" in an effort to bully defendant companies into settling with their clients, which most business prefer instead of facing face the time and expense of going to court.

However, opponents of the ad campaign are crying foul. They claim that businesses want to unfairly limit their liability against legitimate personal injury claims, keeping people from having any form of resource when they suffer harm as a result of the company's negligence.

What do you think? Could these ad campaigns be successful in coercing legislators to create laws limiting civil lawsuits? Would that be fair to people who are suffering from mesothelioma as a result of their company's negligent use of asbestos?

Source: Forbes, "Ad campaign seeks limits on civil lawsuits," Sept 26, 2011

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