Letter to the editor of Wall Street Journal:
Regarding your editorial “The Tort Bar Burns On” (July 23), I am a trial lawyer in Encino, California. I offer the following observation:
Your writer misses the point in discussing gasoline can litigation. A serious gasoline burn injury can easily result in multiple millions of dollars in medical expenses. Five to ten million in total costs are not unusual for younger victims with normal lifespans and catastrophic injuries.
So it comes down to, who pays for this, the manufacturer who profits from a product causing injury — in your article Blitz USA —or the public through increased taxes?
An internet search shows Blitz USA reports annual sales in the 20m-50m range. Using the upper limit, and assuming profit margins at a generous twenty percent, then Blitz’ annual profit would equal the real damages in about one serious burn case. Few can pay such costs on their own, so the taxpayers are generally on the hook.
Seen in this light, your article argues for higher taxes to subsidize private industry. Personally, I believe that strategy is a loser.
Los Encinos State Historic Park in the San Fernando Valley is on a closure list due to budget cuts. The Encino Lawyers Association is stepping into the breach to help keep the park open for local children.
This park is important, not only because of its historical value to the area, but because it’s a safe place for children to play and families to gather to celebrate special events.
To raise community awareness, the Encino Lawyers asked local children to draw and name a “spokesduck,” since one of the park’s key features is a guitar-shaped duck pond. A young local artist then took a cue from the children’s art and created an official spokesduck figure, named “Ranger Dave” Duck.
Now, Ranger Dave is slated as an official park symbol as the Encino Lawyers organize a string of future events.
These are hard economic times. We didn’t think lawyers should be sitting on the sidelines just watching the community struggle. Our members are rolling up their sleeves and making things happen.
Future plans include organizing local artists to support the park, connecting with local businesses and community leaders and finding a role for youth rally around the effort. A major event is planned to run in conjunction with the annual “Taste of Encino” street fair on October 14. Some 25,000 people are expected at the street fair, which creates an opportunity to show off Los Encinos to a wider audience.
We want to be a creative spark. But it’s really up to the Encino community. If they want to save their duck pond, there’s no way the State can close it.
To learn more about the Encino Lawyers Association and upcoming Spokesduck events visit their website: www.Encinolawyers.org