COLLINSVILLE, Ill. (Jan. 7)—President Bush traveled to Madison County, Ill.—the nation's worst "judicial hellhole" for product liability lawsuits, according to the American Tort Reform Association—to condemn "junk lawsuits" and push for tort reform.
While Bush spoke specifically about medical liability reform, he is known to favor across-the-board tort reform, a fact that encourages the ATRA and its supporters such as the Rubber Manufacturers Association to hope for passage of a tort reform bill in the 109th Congress. Among other things, Bush said he advocates a $250,000 cap on punitive and other non-economic damages.
The ATRA defines "judicial hellholes" as districts that heavily favor plaintiffs in product liability judgments. Tort reform continues to face staunch opposition from trial lawyers and consumer advocates, who argue that the current liability system is necessary to protect the rights of consumers victimized by defective goods and services.