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Trial lawyers at it once again

MBJ Editorial

While Mississippi’s efforts at civil justice reform have been inching forward the past year, plenty of work remains and changes must be made if we hope to have a fair and reasonable legal climate in the state.

The same must be said of the rest of the country — we have a long way to go in restoring a sense of personal responsibility in our society and balance in our courts.

Case in point: the first of what can be expected to be many class-action lawsuits was filed last week affixing blame for the recent power outage that blackened businesses and homes across the Midwest, Northeast and parts of Canada. Despite the fact that engineers and analysts are still sifting through the complex system that delivers electricity across the power grid for the reasons behind the largest blackout in U.S. history, the trial lawyers apparently know exactly what happened, who is responsible, and perhaps more important to them, they know that someone should pay.

Forgive our weariness with the trial bar, but once again these members of the legal community have shown us their remarkable ability to oversimplify complicated situations and tie up valuable resources in unwarranted litigation.

We have no doubts that this historic power breakdown had a costly economic impact, and that small and big business alike suffered losses. However, this situation will not be rectified by wave after wave of lawsuits.

The nation’s power grid has many problems that must be corrected — just like our justice grid, if you will. A good step in repairing both systems would be to rein in the overzealous trial lawyers who have turned life in Mississippi and America into one big legal playground where someone — everyone, really — must pay.

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