The Chicago personal injury attorneys at Levin & Perconti realize that much of the news that our readers encounter about trial lawyers is negative. The need for “tort reform” has been used as a plea to gain votes in elections and get Americans fired up over false information. So when we came across an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal about why we need trial lawyers, we wanted to share it with our readers. The reality is, as this piece eloquently addresses, that product liability litigation has become a very important means of keeping American consumers safe. The most recent example is the Toyota recalls, which Levin & Perconti has heavily blogged about, and the recent revelations of Toyota’s corporate issues.
In part because of insufficient government oversight, lethal defects have recently gone uncorrected for years in the Toyota recall. Affecting various models, we have now learned that car owner complaints of product liability issues were either minimized or ignored by Toyota and the regulatory government agencies that were responsible for policing the company. One review of federal records found as many as 2,600 consumer product complaints of sudden acceleration over a 10 year period. And, only now has any product recall been issued. According to CBS, released internal documents now indicate that Toyota was tracing its problem to its software as far back as 2005.
Simply put, the government is overburdened following the Bush administration’s weakening of regulatory agencies’ power through cutting funding and personnel in addition to a massive work load. A case in point is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and its caseload extended to more than 11,000 existing drugs, 100 new drugs yearly and a products ranging from foods to vaccines that account for almost 25% of all consumer spending. Trial attorneys, such as the product liability attorneys at Levin & Perconti, act as a check and help to give a voice to consumers who have been ignored by companies and the government. Product liability lawsuits have played a crucial role in ensuring public safety and encouraging manufacturers to put safety, instead of profits, first.
Click here to read the entire piece on the need for trial attorneys.