As the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) holds its annual summit – a strategy session on eliminating Americans’ access to the civil justice system – a new AAJ report exposes ILR’s corporate board members that use the courts for their own gain against competitors, customers and even each other.
The AAJ report, Do As I Say, Not As I Sue, exposes the hypocrisy of 10 ILR board members that regularly use the legal system to advance their own agendas, while at the same time advocating legislation that would close the courthouse doors to anyone who would hold them accountable for their own wrongdoing.
One ILR board member in the report is Honeywell International, which has regularly taken competitors to court, but would prefer not to be held accountable for distributing defective body armor to law enforcement personnel, or downplaying the dangers of asbestos exposure.
In return for its financial contributions to ILR, Honeywell has received policy and public relations help when its negligence has been uncovered. Four days after an Illinois jury delivered a multi-million dollar verdict against Honeywell for conspiring to hide the dangers of asbestos, ILR issued a press release stating that the decision “confirms a troubling trend in the State of Illinois where there is a hostile ligation environment.” Additionally, the Madison County Record, an Illinois-based propaganda-as-news outlet fully owned by ILR, featured an article headlined, “McLean County Continues Inching Closer to Becoming a ‘Judicial Hellhole.’”
The irony does not stop with Honeywell. AAJ’s report also reveals that one ILR board member, Caterpillar, sued Disney because it felt the depiction of bulldozers in the straight-to-video movie George of the Jungle 2 was overly villainous. FedEx, another ILR board member, sued a man for making a chair out of FedEx boxes. Johnson & Johnson used the civil justice system to take on the Red Cross.
Please take a look at the full report, Do As I Say, Not As I Sue: Exposing the Lawsuit-Happy Hypocrites of U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform, and feel free to forward it to friends.