Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week proclaimed by Ironton mayor

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 1, 2002

Ironton Mayor Bob Cleary joined dozens of mayors across Ohio and Gov. Bob Taft in recognizing the week of Sept. 30 to Oct. 4 as "Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week."

Ohio Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (OCALA), a non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots watchdog group, praised the efforts of Mayor Cleary and his counterparts throughout the state to draw attention to runaway costs of frivolous lawsuits and Ohio's out-of-control civil justice system.

"It is easy to laugh at all of those loony lawsuits and wacky warning labels we often hear about, but it is really no laughing matter when you realize we all pay for such frivolous lawsuits in higher costs for goods and services," Tony Tanner, OCALA executive director, said.

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"Frivolous lawsuits serve only to enrich the hungry personal injury lawyers and their plaintiffs while the rest of us are left paying the price. The 5,750 OCALA supporters are grateful to Mayor Cleary for playing such an important leadership role in educating his constituents about the widespread costs of lawsuit abuse."

" We hope the citizens of Ironton will follow Mayor Cleary's example and learn all they can about the issue of lawsuit abuse and what they can do to stop it."

"Lawsuits continuously drive up the costs of operation each year," Cleary said. "This is something everyone is affected by."

Cleary said the city pays out thousands of dollars each year and many times are sued for things they have no control over, he said.

A lawsuit is an alternative for solving legitimate legal issues but many cases are just frivolous, he said.

It is estimated that an Ohio family of four pays approximately $2,500 more per year in the cost of goods and services because of lawsuit abuse.

"I am sure that the people of Ironton can think of a lot better ways to spend $2,500," Tanner said.

In Cleary's proclamation, the mayor urged the citizens of Ironton to "inform themselves about or civil justice system and show their support for Ohio Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse," Tanner said. "We are very pleased to have Mayor Cleary's And Gov. Taft's support of our organization and the work we are doing." From staff reports