TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Southwestern Law School

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

WV Radio Ads Dispute

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Legal Reform launched ads recently in West Virginia touting the Tillinghast numbers relating to the costs of the tort system.  West Virginia plaintiffs' lawyers are demanding the ads be withdrawn, citing the various criticisms of the Tillinghast research:

[West Virginia Trial Lawyers' Association President] Peyton’s letter asserted the radio ads are “in direct violation of [Federal Communications Commission] guidelines” that require “broadcasters to ... act with reasonable care to ensure that advertisements aired on their stations are not false or misleading.”

* * *

Lisa Rickard, president of the Institute for Legal Reform, said: “That is their opinion. They are grasping at straws. We have a spotlight turned on them and their activities in West Virginia, so they challenge the figures we cite.

“The Tillinghast study is done by a reputable firm. This is the ninth study they have done since 1985 looking at costs of the court system in the United States.

“Whether they [the trial lawyers] believe Tillinghast should have put certain costs in their study is irrelevant. It is a seminal study,” Rickard said.

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