“Tort Reform” will handcuff lawyers fighting for National Guard Families
Whose side is Bush on – the corporations’ or the troops’?
CBS News reported last night that thousands of National Guard troops are returning from
Tragically, the companies abusing our troops may get away with it because there are not enough lawyers to force them to obey the law. Erin Moriaty, the CBS correspondent who covered the story for CBS, learned that one-third of the National Guard troops in
Unfortunately, the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, an agency set up within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs to provide returning Guards and Reservists with free legal help through the states, has not been adequately funded and must rely on volunteers. Fred Denson, General Counsel for Tennessee Military Department explained to me that, while his office gets 30 new cases a month, he has only two lawyers to work on them and must recruit volunteer trial lawyers to keep from being buried under new cases. He says other states are in the same bind.
But the skills Denson and his counterparts in the other states need are those of trial lawyers – the very skills the Administration seeks to handcuff with its so-called “tort reform”. Trial lawyers protect American families from irresponsible corporations. The settlements trial lawyers earn for citizens abused by corporations make it possible for them to volunteer their time and their resources to fight for the families of our troops. The lawsuits they file - misnamed “frivolous” by the Right Wing noise machine - are the powerful levers citizens use to force corporations to obey the law and behave responsibly. And now these same powerful levers are needed by the families of returning National Guard and Reservists to force many of those same companies to treat our returning troops as the law – and patriotic decency – demands.
Trial lawyers stepped up to the plate after 9/11 to help the families of those killed in the
Trial lawyers will help protect families of