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Santa Monica, CA -- The Chamber of Commerce's use of the vice presidential nomination of US Senator John Edwards to advance its attack on the legal system should be countered by facts about the deterrent effect of the justice system and statistics about the true cause of insurance premium increases, the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) stated today.

"John Edwards would be the first trial lawyer in the white house since Abraham Lincoln, so it's not surprising the Chamber of Commerce would use his nomination as an opportunity to attack a legal bar and system that has held its errant members accountable," said FTCR president Jamie Court and author of Corporateering: How Corporate Power Steals Your Personal Freedom and What You Can Do About It (Tarcher/Penguin). "The Chamber's inaccurate portrayal of a legal system run amuck must be challenged with facts and figures, however."

To set the record straight, FTCR has made available the following resources:

' An online resource page about the true causes of the medical malpractice insurance crisis at: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/healthcare/medmal.php

' Copies of the book Corporateering available for the media, which exposes a 1971 Chamber of Commerce memo where the Chamber's campaign to limit access to the courts and get aggressively involved in political activity was first hatched. The memo itself is available at http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/corporate/rp/rp003393.pdf

' Commentary about already-enacted restrictions on injured consumers that are now blocking access to the courts for legitimate cases, including:

Commentaries on the recent US Supreme Court decision taking away the right to sue an HMO: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/ftcr/co/co004479.php3 ;

About recent class action legislation backed by the Chamber that has failed to pass the US Senate: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/ftcr/co/co004328.php3 ;

And about the US Supreme Court decision last year limiting punitive damages awards:
http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/corporate/nw/nw004085.php3

For more information visit www.consumerwatchdog.org or www.corporateering.org

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