Wednesday, April 1, 2009

In defense of lawsuits

They're not so bad.

Especially when they don't force a dry cleaner to close down his store for losing a pair of pants.

That whole piece (a New York Review of Books book review by former New York Times writer Anthony Lake) is worth reading. Here's a particularly good point, and a good rebuke to conservative critics of America's supposedly over-litigious culture:

This country is notoriously lacking in safety nets that are taken for granted in other advanced societies. Medical care is guaranteed by the state, by one method or another, in Canada and all European countries; in the United States upward of 40 million people have no medical insurance. Around 46 percent of employed Americans get not even one day of paid sick leave—which is guaranteed by law in 145 other countries. Lawsuits are often a substitute for safety nets.

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