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Showdown March 9 for Pennsylvania consumers and injured victims

President's Message

by Richard J. Schubert, Esq.


Richard J. Schubert, a partner in the Pittsburgh law firm of Lydon & Schubert, P.C., is President of the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association.

As individuals and a profession, trial lawyers have been under siege for three long years over the issue of medical malpractice.   Our attackers have not let fairness or the truth stand in the way of their march to strip our clients of their right to full and fair compensation for their injuries.  They have even used the problem some doctors have had finding affordable malpractice insurance to try to garner broad immunity for business, drunk drivers, and the makers of unsafe products.

On Tuesday, March 9, 2004, the Pennsylvania Senate is expected to debate and vote on a constitutional amendment that could limit the compensation even the most seriously injured victims receive in every civil lawsuit.

I will be in Harrisburg that day, not just because I am president of PaTLA, but also because I want to see for myself which elected officials believe someone who was injured by another’s negligence or malpractice should have fair compensation restricted.  I want to know which of our “leaders” disagree with our constitutional guarantee that everyone has the right to seek redress through the courts.  Because that’s what this fight is really about for the pro-caps contingent: restricting the rights of injured parties to even go to court.  They know if they can get limits set low enough, even the most egregious cases won’t be brought.  They want immunity.  Caps are the way they may get it.

There is nothing that could keep me away from Harrisburg that day.  If the Legislature is going to restrict the rights of my clients, I want to be there.  I hope everyone who reads this message feels the same.

If you can make it to Harrisburg on Tuesday to stand with us in protest against these unfair caps at the 1:00 PM “Rally for Fairness” in the Capitol Rotunda, please do.  This rally may be the best and last chance we have to demonstrate to legislators the widespread opposition to these arbitrary limits.

Proud to be a Pennsylvania Trial Lawyer.


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