Sunday, January 15, 2006

Tort Trial Lawyers

Each year Peoria County meets with our legislators to give them our position on the bills pending and inform them our position on these bills. The dialogue is beneficial to both the county and to our representatives in Springfield. (I note that only Republican representatives showed up for the dialogue.) The top priorities selected by the county this year included “Bicycle Legislation”. Our position, the same as other counties, was that if Springfield were to change the bicycles’ usership of public roadways from “permitted” to “intended,” the cost to ensure that all such roadways are always flat, level and smooth would be at an astronomical maintenance cost and potential liability cost to the taxpayer.

Here where the tort attorneys enter behind the scene: People lobbying the legislators to make counties liable for injuries to bicyclists, claimed to be “volunteers”. On a closer look these “volunteers” turned out to be in the pay of the trial lawyer’s association!!

This week I received an official document listing a class action against approximately 250 companies and that if I had lost any money thru the buying and selling of stock in any of these companies I could participate in this lawsuit against these companies and if the tort attornies won I would receive approximately one half cent per share after all attorneys expenses were deducted. So if I owned 2000 shares of one of these 250 companies bearing in mind that other stockholders owned or did own billions of shares, I might recover $10.00 minus expenses while the tort attorneys have already collected $38 million and the amount they are suing for is more than one billion dollars of which the tort’s are guaranteed 33 1/3% of everything collected. The action read “To date, the litigation expenses incurred in the actions total approximately $38,000,000.00.” Many of these smaller companies that are still in business will settle rather than fight the trial lawyers which could cost them millions more in legal expense.

Many of these attorneys are no better than crooks. They are out seeking customers because everyone they add will amount to more “expenses” for them to collect before paying out one dime to investors who lost perhaps thousands of dollars, most of it probably on bad advice from the brokerage handling their account. (Brokerages are next to impossible to sue because of the arbitration document you must sign before doing business with them, unless the amount you lost is over $100,000.00 because if you refer back to my blog on “Arbitration”, you must spend thousands of dollars before the arbitrators will hear your case and then you pay for the cost of the arbitrators.) This one mailing I received adds up to more than a quarter billion mailings passing thru an already overloaded postal system.

On 4/22/00, my wife put a one foot long, ½” wide scrape in the door of a pickup truck owned by a young man from Edwards, Jacob Russell Buhl. The police gave her a ticket for “failure to yield-turning left”. She told the officer the young man driving the truck was coming so fast in the same direction, she didn’t even see him. The police report is marked “no injury”. Six month later we got our car insurance bill and found the bill had increased approximately $200. I called the agent and learned that my insurance company had settled $8373.00 to the man for “injuries”, $400.00 for rental of a vehicle and $1294.98 for repairs. When I protested there was no injury, my agent asked me to call the adjustor. The adjustor said that it was simpler to settle the claim than to contest it, because the attorney might then go for more “damages”. Of the $10,000.00, approximately $2500.00 was set aside for chiropractor services. Zinser Chiropractic was alleged to be the services he was using for his “injuries”. At a rate of $50 per visit that would be 50 visits!! And he wasn’t even injured according to witnesses on the scene and the police report!!

We live in a great country but it is not as great a country as it was 20 years ago. People are learning how to beat the system and becoming more and more devious and are working to get themselves in positions to figure out how to enrich themselves at the expense of the innocent or sometimes not so innocent. Beware of people who say they are looking out for your best interests, like some greedy stock brokers, “lobbyists like Jack Abramoff”, trial lawyers associations controlled by “tort” attorneys and politicians like Tom DeLay, especially if there are large amounts of money involved that will go to them and there is a more than average risk to you of losing your money.


steven edward streight said...

Please excuse this Off Topic remark, but I want to welcome you, my former uncle-in-law, via Debbie Hermann, to the blogosphere.

I am a relatively well known blogologist now, and have two mentions in the new book on business blogging by Microsoft's Robert Scoble and PR veteran Shel Israel, entitled Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers.

I was the first person known to buy the book in a retail store (Barnes and Noble) and Peoria is now discussed as hip, ahead of the blogospheric curve, as Silicon Valley bookstores and Amazon pre-order customers are still waiting to get their hands on it.

Drop by my blogology/web usability blog sometime.

Linked here from Peoria Pundit.

Merle Widmer said...


Good to hear from you. Hope you keep reading me and post a critical comment or positive ones are welcomed too. Wish I was your age and had your energy. I could blog full time!!