For Immediate Release
May 17, 2010
 
Walker Needs to Come Clean on Litigation Burden Claim: It’s Not True
 
In a new statewide ad promoting Scott Walker in the Republican primary for governor, Walker falsely claims there is a “litigation burden” in Wisconsin. 
 
Walker’s ad says 120,000 jobs have been lost in the state in the last year because of the litigation burden. The facts defy this statement. He recklessly disregards the truth. Wisconsin did not lose jobs because of lawsuits.
 
According to the Director of State Courts, from 2000 to 2009, the number of tort cases decreased from 7,813 to 6,717, down 14 percent. The numbers don’t lie, but Walker does.
 
Big business, and apparently Walker, likes to blame tort litigation for burdening business. This claim has been debunked by a study conducted by University of Wisconsin Law School Professors Marc Galanter and Susan Steingass in 2009. They found that “tort filings are decreasing relative to population and in absolute numbers.” 
 
It’s clear when big business uses the civil justice system to recoup losses it works out well for them. But when a person is injured or otherwise wronged as a result of the negligence of another person or company and seeks to hold them accountable for their wrongdoing, big business, and Walker, complain.
 
Citizens are entitled to access the courts to resolve their disputes and collect damages. It’s time for Walker to come clean on the litigation burden.   As the numbers in the studies prove, Wisconsin does not abuse its civil justice system. It is time for Walker and others to recognize that the civil justice system is in place for all Wisconsin citizens. It is good for the state’s economy, which means it is good for business and jobs.
 
For information on Wisconsin court filings: www.wicourts.gov/about/pubs/circuit/circuitstats.htm.
To view the Galanter & Steingass study, Civil Justice in Wisconsin: A Fact Book, visit, http://hosted.law.wisc.edu/faculty/galanter/index.html.
 
The Wisconsin Association for Justice stands with consumers to promote a fair and effective justice system for every citizen, not just the privileged and wealthy.
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