Kevin Kelton, a political and humor columnist, wrote an interesting article called The RNC’s Latest Political Target: Frivolous Lawsuits for the Washington Dispatch. It begins:
“First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” Of course, after Shakespeare wrote that populist sound bite, Sir Francis Bacon took credit for his plays and Hollywood screenwriters took millions to “adapt” his works. Had he known, you think maybe the Bard would have found reason to spare the life of a good copyright lawyer or two?
Kelton goes on to address Republicans and their hypocritical tirades about frivolous lawsuits. As Kelton says, “Everyone loves to hate lawyers until they need them.”
It’s true; we do live in a litigious society. But trial attorneys are not the sole cause. Our capitalist system by its very nature pits companies against consumers, and the legal process is the only way to level the playing field.
Kelton talks about the exploding Ford Pintos, and how consumer lawsuits were what forced the company to step up and do the right thing. Same goes for dangerous drugs, deadly chemicals, and toxic products.
In those cases, trial lawyers weren’t the enemy. They were the heroes.
Today, whenever you hear of a defective product recall or a drug that is pulled from the market, you can bet it was a lawsuit (or several lawsuits) that made those companies reluctantly do the responsible thing.
Although Kevin Kelton’s article doesn’t mention the food industry specifically, it’s true that his diatribe also applies to food producers and foodservice providers who poison consumers, and often kill kids, as well as to those “necessary evils” (lawyers like me) who often have to sue before a company steps up and does the right thing.