Misinformation abounds when it comes to tort reform. Public relations teams with insurance companies and other big business have been working for years to manufacture the idea that “frivolous” lawsuits are causing nationwide problems. As we have pointed out repeatedly, the assertions made by proponents of this “reform” are often completely wrong and virtually always overblown.
One filmmaker took to the screen to set the record straight about tort reform with stories about the real lives involved in these lawsuits. Reuters recently discussed the wide support the film-known as “Hot Coffee”-has received from those who’ve seen it. Audiences continue to give it great reviews since its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.
In it the filmmaker takes a look at the actual individuals behind many of the cases that would be affected by laws limiting victim rights. She explores the infamous McDonalds coffee case, showing the horrific pelvic injuries the elderly victim suffered when a cup of nearly boiling coffee was spilled into her lap. The document reveals how the victim initially only asked the mega-company to pay for her medical bills but was rebuffed by the arrogant corporate giant.
The movie also examines a problem that our Illinois nursing home lawyers know well-the widespread use of mandated arbitration clauses. These legal requirements are buried in the fine print of all sorts of agreements (from nursing home admissions to employment contracts). These clauses are used to take away a victim’s right to sue, forcing all disagreement into arbitration hearings. Those hearings are typically skewed toward the big interests, with unique rules and requirements that often work against the victim.
Our Chicago nursing home lawyers at Levin & Perconti will continue to set the record straight on so-called tort reform claims. We have spent decades working day in and day out with the real people injured by the negligence of others. It is vital that the names, faces, and stories behind a variety of these lawsuits, like those involved nursing home abuse, are shared with the public. In that way, the myths spread by these big businesses may be dispelled once and for all.
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