Class Action

Class action Lawyers. Riding the metro yesterday I saw an interesting example of their work in the form of a poster looking for people who are lactose intolerant to sue milk producers. Whatever else you can say about milk, it has clearly been around a long time. The attributes of the product should surprise nobody. This attempt to create another class of payable victims is shameful. I won’t include the webpage for the group. My family includes dairy farmers. If you want to rip them off, you will have to find the lawyers yourself.

This is a much bigger problem than most people realize. I have been party to three class action lawsuits. I never felt aggrieved and I never received any compensation, but "my" lawyers managed to include me in two lawsuits against Charles Schwab (the broker) and one against Joseph Banks (the clothier). In none of the cases did I have any trouble with the service or product. Both Banks and Schwab are great firms. But it is nearly impossible to get out of a class once the lawyers have trapped you into it. We are not clients, just pawns in the piracy. Millions of dollars of our (as a customer that is what it is) money was spent to bring, defend and settle the cases. What did we get besides robbed in broad daylight?

An interesting thing is happening now with regards to silicosis. Silicosis is a lung disease that kills about 200 people each year in the whole U.S. That is why it surprised Texas Federal Judge Janis Graham Jack to find 20,000 claims in the Mississippi region alone. When she examined the case more closely, she found that the same nine doctors had found the disease in nearly 9000 of the plaintiffs. They worked for lawyers and screening companies.

According to the WSJ - One doctor signed blank forms for the screening company and let his secretary fill out the diagnoses. Yet another performed 1,239 diagnostic evaluations in 72 hours - less than four minutes apiece. One who diagnosed 3,617 patients with silicosis, admitted that he didn't even know the criteria for diagnosing the disease and had simply included in each of his reports a paragraph provided by the screening company.

I would like to blame Democrats for this. Trial lawyers are the Democrats richest and most reliable contributor group and Dems tend to oppose tort reform. But then the hero of my story, Judge Jack, is a Clinton appointee. It is time for all good people to recognize that predator lawyers are a big problem in this country. We all pay the price for their fancy cars and big houses. Let's start getting mad about it.

Posted by Jack at July 14, 2005 9:37 AM