‘Jackpot justice’ no laughing matter

Published 6:00 am Monday, December 9, 2002

A Fayette florist now says comments he made about jury payoffson a national TV news show were just a joke. Just some “off thecuff” comments he says he made when he thought the camera wasturned off.

Beau Strittman of Fayette says his comments during the 60Minutes broadcast on November 24 were not true; he was simplyjoking about why so many product liability trials were being heldin Jefferson County.

Just a joke? Say that to the poor victims who claim to have beenforever and irreparably harmed by the local drug stores and drugcompanies that sell and distribute pharmaceuticals.

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Just a joke? Say that to the plaintiffs’ attorneys who havestood up so righteously for the good of the poor and downtroddenthat they claim are victims of corporate greed.

Just a joke? Say that to the family of the man in Greenwood whodied earlier this year when the emergency care he needed was notavailable. The trauma care unit at the Leflore County hospital wasclosed after local doctors called it quits because they could notafford malpractice insurance.

Just a joke? Say that to the members of the local and statemedical communities who have faced the lawsuits and seen theirmalpractice insurance rates climb.

Just a joke? Say that to the consumers who have to dig a bitdeeper into their pockets because of higher consumer prices.

Just a joke? Say that to the legislators who spent three monthsand $1.4 million in tax dollars to pass legislation to try to slowdown the lawsuit abuse that is crippling this state. Say that tothe families that had to be without a mother or father during thistrying special session.

Unfortunately, some in Jefferson County think that this is allfun and games. It is not. It is very serious indeed.