What Should Personal Injury Lawyers Do?

For personal injury lawyers, they usually receive millions in damage awards from big companies while they hand clients discount coupons to use. Working to protect these people is a judge reigning from Florida. This judge actually condemned a New York City law firm considering how they provided cruise ship passengers travel vouchers for future trips with values ranging from $10 to $60 while they requested legal fees amounting to $1.4 million.

For the law firm, they settled a class action lawsuit against a cruise ship company for $2.9 million after the company had been caught raising port docking charges and passing them on to unwary passengers. Legal fees amounting to $1.4 million resulted from this. After the judge lessened the $1.4 million request to slightly less than $300,000, in a 27 page ruling, he ordered to have it split among the law firms, 5 of them, that were involved in the case.

One more order was for the legal fees of the lawyers where 25 percent of it should be paid in the form of the same discount vouchers given to the 80,000 plaintiffs they managed to corral into the lawsuit. It was the lead lawyer of the firm who said that the vouchers would be beneficial to the passengers since most of them were repeat cruise customers. Cash is important to them since they can’t pay their bills with vouchers. Without their full knowledge, clients do not get the settlement that they deserve considering how devious personal injury lawyers can be and most of the time they are the ones who get to keep the millions in settlements. Applause came from tort reform advocates when the judge used common sense in defending consumers against greedy class action lawyers. The travel awards are unreasonable and the vouchers have no value according to the head of the James Madison Institute, a Tallahassee think tank. Getting $10 off of a cruise amounting to hundreds of dollars is pure nonsense.

You will still find good class action lawsuits though. People who are genuine victims of a corporation’s neglect or malfeasance certainly deserve to be justly compensated. Nowadays, class action lawsuits are no longer for the sake of the afflicted but for the sake of the wealthy, to make them wealthier. A prime example was the class action suit against HMOs waged in Miami by a group of multimillionaire personal injury lawyers led by a Mississippi attorney. When it comes to this, the personal injury lawyers are well aware that this will result to the skyrocketing of health care costs without any improvement when it comes to patient care. According to this Mississippi lawyer, he met with Wall Street financial analysts in October 1999 to get them to agree to downgrading HMO stocks and force a shareholder sell off. Everything made sense.

Effortlessly, the lawyers can get millions considering how the HMOs will agree to an out of court settlement when stock prices went down. A Yale University law professor summed it up very well when he said that he doesn’t see how these lawsuits can proceed without harming the country. This is what will harm the managed care industry.

What will transpire is the rise of health care costs to all Americans. Only one in a long line of greed driven class actions is the lawsuit against the HMOs and so it is necessary for the congressional Republicans and Democrats to pass a meaningful tort reform act. Considering the retirement funds of lawyers who travel in their own private jets and go fishing on luxury yachts, average working Americans want to stop contributing their hard earned money for this.

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