Cornell Study Highlights Flaws of Chamber’s Survey of State Liability
Theodore Eisenberg, a Professor at Cornell Law School, in a 2009 study, questioned the validity of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Survey of State Liability. The study, which was entitled, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Liability Survey: Inaccurate, Unfair, and Bad for Business , hits hard at both the Chamber’s methodology and conclusions.
“Normally such a flawed study would not be worth evaluating. But the Chamber uses its large budget to promote the survey and, as noted above, the survey receives substantial attention,” Eisenberg states in his study. “The most damaging effects of the Chamber’s survey likely are not on the states the Chamber attacks but on our whole country’s fiscal and physical well-being.”
Eisenberg continues, “The Chamber’s survey violates the elementary principle that evaluation of legal system performance should be based on input from both sides to dispute. [T]he Chamber’s study is a caricature of what a serious evaluation of a liability system should look like.”
As the Chamber attempts to move its so-called “reform agenda” to state legislatures in 2014, the important thing to note about their Survey of State Liability is that they use this study as a centerpiece to criticize judiciaries to seek extensive legal reforms that would essentially benefit a few of their larger corporate friends.
Fortunately, Eisenberg’s study captures the dishonesty of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. A Chamber that has become a voice for just a handful of big corporations, spreading false claims and skewed studies to help enhance a few at the expense of many. Nowhere is this more true than the Chamber’s efforts to attack consumer legal funding.
Now fast forward to 2013 where Thurbert Baker, Counsel to the Chamber is leading efforts against consumer legal funding companies. Using similar legal reform tactics to hide behind true intentions of protecting a few large insurance conglomerates at the expense of consumer legal funding, he has stated on numerous occasions that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is concerned that the practice of consumer legal funding is harming consumers and is having a negative impact on our civil justice system.
Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Consumer legal funding has a tremendous history of helping those across the country who need it most by providing financial help. It is through this financial help that consumers can then worry less about their daily living expenses and instead concentrate on finalizing their settlements with their insurance company in a fair and full manner.
Putting profit protection over consumer protection is the endgame for the Chamber’s efforts on consumer legal funding. Fortunately for consumers, we can thank this Cornell study for blowing the whistle on these phony surveys upon which so much of the Chamber’s so-called legal reform agenda is based.