There are well-financed organizations that were created and exist to champion efforts at limiting or eliminating the rights of victims of wrongful conduct by others to receive fair and just compensation for the injuries and harms they suffered. One of those organizations is the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA), which promotes medical malpractice and other tort reforms and whose members include large insurance companies and well-financed organizations representing the financial interests of physicians, hospitals, and other medical providers.
ATRA’s Mission Statement reads, in part: “ATRA is the only national organization exclusively dedicated to repairing our civil justice system. ATRA fights in Congress, in state legislatures, and in the courts to make the system fairer. We identify and champion elected officials and judges who want to fix the system.”
ATRA has published a partial list of its membership, which includes: Advance Medical Technology Association (“The Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), is a trade association … AdvaMed represents 80 percent of medical technology firms in the United States and acts as the common voice for companies producing medical devices, diagnostic products and health information systems”), Altria Client Services (“Altria’s companies have built some of the best-known brands in the world – Marlboro, Copenhagen, Skoal and Black & Mild – that today lead their respective categories. … Our Mission is to own and develop financially disciplined businesses that are leaders in responsibly providing adult tobacco and wine consumers with superior branded products”), American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, American Insurance Association (“Since 1866, the American Insurance Association (AIA) has served as the leading property-casualty insurance trade organization. Representing more than 300 insurers that write more than $110 billion in premiums each year, our member companies count themselves among the ranks of the most influential insurance companies in the country”), American Medical Association, Bayer Pharmaceutical Corporation, CNA Financial Corporation (“Thoughtful business insurance solutions for companies of any size, from main street enterprises to Fortune 500 companies, delivered by one of the world’s most trusted commercial insurance names”), Doctors’ Company (“As the nation’s largest physician-owned medical malpractice insurer, we are fiercely committed to relentlessly defending, protecting, and rewarding our members with the industry’s most aggressive claims defense, unrivaled protection, and innovative rewards”), Eli Lilly and Company, Farmers Insurance, Great American Insurance Companies, Johnson & Johnson, Medical Mutual, Merck & Company, MetLife, National Federation of Independent Business, Nationwide, Pfizer, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Physician Insurers Association of America, Preferred Physician Medical, Prudential Insurance Company of America, and State Farm.
On December 17, 2013, the American Tort Reform Foundation issued its annual Judicial Hellholes® “report” that names civil courts in California, Louisiana, New York City, West Virginia, Madison and St. Clair counties in Illinois, and South Florida among the nation’s “most unfair.”
“Since its inception in 2002, the American Tort Reform Foundation’s Judicial Hellholes® program has documented in annually published reports various abuses within the civil justice system, focusing primarily on jurisdictions where courts have been radically out of balance. Traditionally, Judicial Hellholes have been considered places where judges systematically apply laws and court procedures in an unfair and unbalanced manner, generally against defendants in civil lawsuits.”
In describing ATRA’s annual “judicial hellholes” reports, the Executive Director of the Center for Justice Democracy at New York Law School stated, “ATRA is a corporate front group for companies and industries found negligent in court … What ATRA really seems to hate is our system of government where judges and juries cannot be wined, dined and bought-off by corporate lobbyists like them. So they try instead to issue reports like this, throwing jurisdictions in and out for their own political reasons, and attacking judges and juries who are doing their jobs on behalf of everyday hard-working Americans.”
If you or a loved one were injured (or worse) as a result of medical negligence in the United States, you should promptly seek legal advice from a medical malpractice attorney in your state who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a malpractice case, if appropriate.
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