Last week, Julio Fuentes, President of the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, in coordination with the Florida chapter of Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse, led a roundtable discussion concerning the far-ranging economic impact of too many lawsuits on small businesses and consumers.
The roundtable focused first on the significant amount of trial lawyer advertising in Florida. The American Tort Reform Association conducted two studies in 2018 that analyzed legal services advertising on television. In the Tampa and Miami media markets, lawyers and law firms spent more than $50,000 per day in advertising. The Tampa area alone saw 300 ads per day, 32 times as many as there were for pizza delivery and local restaurants while Miami saw double the ads, with 600 per day.
“We would never advocate for a legitimate legal remedy to be withheld from anyone, but what is clear is that many plaintiff law firms are goading people into filing lawsuits with advertisements that over-promise and under-deliver,” said Florida State Hispanic Chamber President Julio Fuentes. “In the effort to keep the pipelines full for their settlement mills, lawyers are actually encouraging and inducing legal action. This overloads the legal system, kills productivity, and leeches valuable resources out of the economy at large.”
Another key focus for the roundtable was the amount of political donations contributed to candidates in the state as a whole. From 2011 to 2018, plaintiffs firms in Florida gave over $18 million to political candidates in a move clearly designed to help derail lawsuit reform legislation.
Fuentes added: “Lawsuit abuse has plagued our civil justice system for years. Some trial lawyers misuse our laws by finding loopholes for exploitation. This kind of profiteering must stop. Consumers, especially, our seniors on fixed incomes, and our small business leaders are paying the price while the trial lawyers just continue to use their money to invest in political protection.”
Roundtable attendees enjoyed a robust discussion, and several joined the Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse organization. For more information on Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse, please visit our Facebook page.