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Discussion of Lawsuit Costs

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Ad About "Lawsuit Abuse" Is Misleading

WASHINGTON, DC -- May 25, 2007 -- Recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce ads falsely claim that families pay an extra $3,520 per year for products and services due to so-called "lawsuit abuse." The Chamber derived that number from a report by a management consultant firm. However, the figure is based on the total of all civil lawsuits, including valid, legitimate cases. The study did not attempt to estimate the percentage of the lawsuits that were abusive or frivolous. The lead study author, Russ Sutter, even told one group that the Chamber of Commerce ads are "misleading" (

The Chamber ignored the study's finding that civil lawsuit costs grew by 0.5% in 2005, which is the smallest cost increase in almost 10 years. It also failed to consider the benefits of our legal system. Chief among these is the ability to obtain redress for injuries suffered from another's negligence.

"By airing and publishing these false, unfair and deceptive ads, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is misleading the public in a cynical effort to weaken the civil justice system," commented Jon Haber, CEO of the American Association for Justice. "The Chamber and the stations and newspapers must take immediate action and stop airing and publishing them" (Press Release, American Association for Justice, May 7, 2007).

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