Today’s guest blog post comes to us from Sick of Lawsuits, a national online network of people who are interested in restoring integrity to our justice system by addressing issues surrounding legal reform. This week, Louisiana is at the spotlight for Sick of Lawsuits with one of our own being named a leader in legal reform. Read the announcement from Sick of Lawsuits below here, and join with us in congratulating Mr. Mike Carter!
Mike Carter and LLAW's Melissa Landry at work promoting needed legal reforms
Sick of Lawsuits, a national grassroots and online legal reform organization, today announced Mike Carter as “Legal Reformer of the Month” for his dedication to fighting lawsuit abuse in Louisiana.
As a small business owner, Mike has first-hand experience seeing how abusive lawsuits can hurt local communities and economies. Mike owns Monroe Rubber & Gasket, a small family business founded in 1975. Despite the fact that he has never manufactured any kind of asbestos product, Mike’s small business has been hit with 109 separate lawsuits involving 3,600 individual plaintiffs over the past decade. Air quality testing has proven there is no harmful dust in the air at his shop, and not one single employee has ever filed suit or a worker’s compensation claim against him for an asbestos related injury—but he has been forced to spend more than $2.5 million dollars in legal fees and thousands of hours away from his family and his business defending himself against these meritless claims.
“Mike’s leadership made him an obvious nominee for this honor,” said Melissa Landry, executive director of Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch. “Many small businesses owners facing what Mike is up against would have simply closed up shop. But not Mike—he’s a fighter.”
“Over the last decade, Mike has made dozens of trips to Baton Rouge, LA and Washington, DC to raise awareness about the impact lawsuit abuse has on small businesses. His passion and commitment to improving Louisiana’s legal climate are unending.”
Nationwide, litigation costs small businesses more than $100 billion per year. A startling one in three small business owners report that they have been sued or threatened with a lawsuit.
“Obviously, it goes without saying that if a business is responsible for damage or injury, they should be held accountable for their actions,” Landry continued. “But it is much too often that lawsuits against small businesses seem to be motivated by money, rather than merit. It is imperative that we keep working to reduce the lawsuit burden for small businesses, like Mike’s, so they can do what they do best—innovate new products and services and create jobs.”
Small businesses are the heart and soul of Louisiana’s economy. They represent 97 percent of all employers in the state and employ 55 percent of the state’s private-sector workforce.
This award is part of a larger national effort around Small Business Summer, an opportunity to bring to light the effects of lawsuit abuse and help ensure that the voices of small business owners are heard.
Over the course of the summer, Sick of Lawsuits has been providing small businesses with legal consumer guides to help protect themselves from egregious lawsuits and defend themselves when such lawsuits unfortunately do occur.
To learn more about how you can follow Mike’s lead and help stop lawsuit abuse, visit www.sickoflawsuits.com.