July 1, 2008

Rhode Island Supreme Court Repudiates Use of Public Nuisance Legal Theory to Enrich Plaintiffs’ Trial Lawyers

WASHINGTON, July 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a joint statement of Lisa Rickard, President of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, and Robin Conrad, Executive Vice President of the National Chamber Litigation Center, on today's ruling by the Rhode Island Supreme Court, which overturns the 2006 jury verdict against former manufacturers of lead-based paint.

"Public nuisance is an 800- year old legal theory twisted by the plaintiffs' bar and overreaching state attorneys general. We commend the Rhode Island Supreme Court's ruling today for rightly repudiating this flawed legal scheme designed to put more money into the pockets of trial lawyers while doing little to correct any perceived wrongs. The Court rightly recognized it's the job of the legislature, not the judiciary, to create new causes of action. Today's ruling should be a sign to courts across the country that public nuisance cases should not be used as a tool for plaintiffs' lawyers to extort millions of dollars from companies."

ILR seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the national, state, and local levels.

NCLC is the public policy law firm of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that advocates fair treatment of business in the courts and before regulatory agencies.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.

   http://www.uschamber.com/   http://www.chamberpost.com/    CONTACT: Bryan Quigley (202) 463-5569   Sheldon Gilbert (202) 463-5685  

U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform

CONTACT: Bryan Quigley, +1-202-463-5569; or Sheldon Gilbert,+1-202-463-5685, both of U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform

Web Site: http://www.chamberpost.com/http://www.uschamber.com/