ATRA: Kerry-Edwards Victory Will Raise Tort Tax

July 6, 2004

The American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) on Tuesday expressed serious reservations about Democratic Presidential hopeful John Kerry’s choice for vice president running mate, North Carolina Senator John Edwards.

“Senator Edwards has consistently supported a pro-litigation, anti-civil justice reform agenda that puts his wealthy personal injury lawyer patrons ahead of the American people,” ATRA President Sherman Joyce said.

ATRA ( has criticized Edwards and the “Learjet lawyers” who funded his campaign for their opposition to civil justice reforms that can reportedly help consumers and cut the annual “tort tax” estimated to cost consumers $233 billion in 2002, with each U.S. citizen paying $809 annually or $3,236 for a family of four.

“Under a Kerry-Edwards Administration, the tort tax will undoubtedly go up,” Joyce said, pointing to Edwards’ failure to support common-sense reforms in the U.S. Senate, including medical liability and class action lawsuit reforms.

ATRA launched a Web site last fall that features a special report, John Edwards and His Patrons, A Look at the Personal Injury Lawyers Influencing John Edwards’ Campaign. The report is said to detail how personal injury lawyers use the campaigns of John Edwards and other elected officials to further their own litigation agenda.

Last September, ATRA predicted that Edwards was running all along for a spot of the ticket as Vice President.

Following Edwards’ March 3 withdrawal from the race for Democratic nominee, ATRA cautioned Kerry in considering Edwards as Vice President on the Democratic ticket, saying Edwards would be a liability to Kerry’s race for the White House.

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