In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Harold Kim, executive vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform claimed, “The [consumer legal] funders add a lot of waste to our legal system.”
Tell that to a former EMT and firefighter from Lebanon, Tennessee named Sharon. She suffered significant injuries in an automobile accident that required three surgeries. As a result of these injuries, she was unable to work, which meant no household income while her insurance claim was being adjudicated or settled.
This is the exact scenario why consumer legal funding was created. As Sharon’s medical bills were piling up and everyday expenses became a financial burden, she had nowhere else to turn while waiting for her legal claim to be heard. Sharon sought out consumer legal funding through Oasis Legal Finance and by securing just a few thousand dollars, she was able to pay down those mounting bills and make ends meet.
In describing her experience with consumer legal funding to the Wall Street Journal, Sharon said, “Oasis and my lawyer explained everything to me. It’s been a huge help. You just can’t imagine.”
So, to Mr. Kim, the U.S. Chamber official quoted in the Wall Street Journal story, just where is the “waste” you describe? The true “waste” in the system, Mr. Kim, isn’t from an injured firefighter in Tennessee who is just trying to make ends meet by relying on consumer legal funding. The true waste in our legal system is the millions of dollars the U.S. Chamber and powerful insurance companies are spending to prevent everyday citizens like Sharon from getting necessary financial assistance. It is up to states like Tennessee and others to stand up to these billion-dollar bullies and make sure consumer legal funding remains a financial lifeline for their citizens.