U.S. Chamber Chides Michigan House on Drug Bills

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February 21, 2007

WASHINGTON, DC – Statement of Lisa A. Rickard, President of the US Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, on the passage of legislation by the Michigan House of Representatives vastly expanding the ability of trial lawyers to bring lawsuits against drug manufacturers:

"The Michigan House of Representatives has taken a giant step backwards today in its efforts to keep the state's legal climate business- and consumer-friendly. Their passage of legislation expanding liability for pharmaceutical makers will discourage job growth in life sciences industries and will ultimately result in higher prices and fewer choices of life saving medicines for all Michiganders. Only the plaintiffs' lawyers stand to benefit.

"We are concerned that this is but the first step in an orchestrated attack by the class and mass action lawyers on Michigan's overall pro-legal reform environment, and we expect them to also attempt to roll back other important products liability protections as well as general tort and medical liability reforms. Michigan ranks in the top half of all the states in the fairness of its lawsuit system, but actions such as this put that hard-earned reputation in jeopardy. We trust the State Senate will be more circumspect."

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The mission of the Institute for Legal Reform is to make America's legal system simpler, fairer, and faster for everyone. It seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the national, state, and local levels.