"The most significant threat to our national security is our debt," Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, August 27,2010

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Loser Pays

                                             HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES AND CO-DEFENDANTS PAY
                                                 $15.75 MILLION SETTLEMENT TO FELD ENTERTAINMENT ENDING
                                                                                       14 YEARS OF LITIGATION

Unprecedented Settlement Brings Total Paid to Parent Company of
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Circus to More Than $25 Million

Groups Settle with Circus After Federal Court Determined Case
Was "Groundless and Unreasonable"

VIENNA, Va. - May 15, 2014 - The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), along with their co-defendants, have paid Feld Entertainment, Inc., the parent company of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Circus, $15.75 million to settle cases stemming from a lawsuit they brought against Ringling Bros.® over the care of its Asian elephants. This historic settlement payment to Feld Entertainment ends nearly 14 years of litigation between the parties.

"We hope this settlement payment, and the various court decisions that found against these animal rights activists and their attorneys, will deter individuals and organizations from bringing frivolous litigation like this in the future," said Kenneth Feld, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Feld Entertainment.

In December 2012, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), a former co-defendant in the case, settled its share of the lawsuits by paying Feld Entertainment $9.3 million. Today's settlement brings the total recovered by Feld Entertainment to more than $25 million in legal fees and expenses, which the company actually spent in defending the Endangered Species Act case.”

The concept of loser pays, in litigation, is universally accepted – everywhere but in the United States.  It is only when a defendant is willing to enter into lengthy, costly litigation and then prove the frivolous and/or fraudulent nature of the charges that an American court will force the accuser to pay the defendants costs.  Such was the case with the charges levied against Feld Entertainment of Ringling Bros circus fame.
In one of our first essays, in September 2009 (go to: http://thefundamentalsus.blogspot.com/2009/09/tort-reform-loser-pays.html ), TheFundamentals encouraged America to join virtually every other developed nation on the face of the earth in applying the legal concept of “loser pays” to all litigation.  Why?  It is the very concept that disciplines most every other interaction between individuals, groups and organizations today.  One must take responsibility for their actions and not just seek to use government and litigation to self enrich.  Most litigants avoid going to court – they settle – to avoid the uncertainty and costs of a jury or judge verdict.  Regardless of blame or culpability, they settle to get out from under the burden of time consuming and possibly very expensive legal costs.
Who benefits from this system? Cui bono?
Only one group of people – lawyers and more specifically, trial lawyers.  They love the system.  It is estimated that this corrupt system, benefiting only this selfish group of trial lawyers added $210 billion to American business costs in 2008 according to this source (see:  http://www.metrocorpcounsel.com/articles/9493/fortune-500-total-cost-litigation-estimated-one-third-profits .) That’s about $3,000.00 per family in the US.
America has driven its commerce and business to foreign shores to avoid unnecessary litigation.  We cannot even begin to measure the accumulated devastation and cost associated with such foolishness.
Loser pays – simple change – already available everywhere – only the lawyers lose.  And, of course, the Democrats who depend on the rich campaign contributions which flow solely to them to keep this corruption in place.
Closing comment – Feld Entertainment had to fight these frivolous and erroneous claims for 14 years in order to prevail.  FOURTEEN YEARS.  $25 MILLION IN TOTAL COSTS!!!.  Do you think that is a "justice system?"  The only two groups in America that don’t see the injustice in that fact are trial lawyers and Democrats which is about all you need to know if you have ever asked yourself, “Why is America in decline?”

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