Saturday, April 28, 2012

Politifact kinda says Scott Walker was lying when he said Trial Lawyers on employer discrimination “Gravy Train”.

Trial lawyers were on a gravy train suing businesses for workplace discrimination, don’t cha know.

But like voter fraud, Walker came up with a solution looking for a problem. I swear almost everything Republican do have something to do with disabling their opponents in whatever way possible.

Politifact’s latest Walker takedown proves that point beyond any doubt:
When Politifact Wisconsin first wrote about an attempt by Republicans to repeal a law that allowed discriminated workers to sue in state court, we found a surprising statistic: The law had been in effect for nearly three years, but no such lawsuits had been filed.

And yet a month later, days after signing a repeal of the law, GOP Gov. Scott Walker suggested the law had been a financial windfall for attorneys. "In the past, it was kind of a gravy train for the trial bar," the governor told the Wisconsin Radio Network on April 10, 2012. He added: "The only change (the repeal) really makes is it no longer includes the benefit that was in place before for lawyers." Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie acknowledged that no state court lawsuits were filed while the old law was in effect. So, clearly lawyers weren’t getting paid based on their clients winning discrimination cases in state court.

But Werwie argued that the law was still a "kind of a gravy train" for lawyers because they could extract settlements from employers by threatening to sue in state court. Wisconsin Restaurant Assc. lobbyist Pete Hanson said that shortly after the old law took effect, one restaurant agreed to pay a roughly $50,000 settlement on a claim that typically would have been settled for a fraction of that because of the potential cost of a lawsuit. However, when the law was passed, it said it could only be applied to future cases -- not those already in the pipeline.

Werwie cited 2009 testimony in support of the old law by Madison attorney Paul Kinne, who represented the Wisconsin Association for Justice, Kinne argued "Limited damages make it very difficult to bring discrimination cases. Attorneys turn down dozens of cases because damages are limited and most people cannot afford to pay hourly fees."

Like Werwie’s first point, this one does not provide hard evidence that the law was a financial boon for lawyers. Werwie noted that, of six organizations that lobbied for the 2009 law, one was the trial lawyers group and four were unions. But that, too, does not support the "gravy train" statement.
We rate Walker’s statement Mostly False.
But who knows, anything can still happen. 

1 comment:

  1. So will the trial lawyers cut his balls off?