I am responding to the highly insulting Oct. 16 op-ed piece by Tiger Joyce, president of the American Tort Reform Association, titled "Fighting Fraudulent Lawsuits." In particular the commentary attempts to extrapolate an isolated case against two prominent and highly respected Pittsburgh attorneys into a claim that there is rampant fraud in personal injury lawsuits. He cites no other specific finding of fraud in a personal injury case but relies on a statement made by Matthew L. Lifflander that appeared in The Wall Street Journal based on his habit of asking some personal injury attorneys about their experience. Mr. Lifflander concluded that, based on this "highly scientific" study, at least 25 percent of cases include elements of perjury or fraud.
It is ironic that Mr. Joyce should cite an asbestos case where dozens of asbestos companies intentionally concealed the dangers of asbestos while they reaped profits and thousands of people exposed suffered and died from asbestos diseases. It is exactly this type of propaganda that is used to protect insurance companies and corporations from legitimate personal injury claims.
ALAN H. PERER