[JURIST] Speaking at a White House economic forum Wednesday, President Bush called on the new Congress to pass what he called "meaningful liability reform" on asbestos, on class action, and medical liability by curbing lawsuits in these areas which said had inhibited economic and job growth:
...the cost of frivolous lawsuits, in some cases, make it prohibitively expensive for a small business to stay in business or for a doctor to practice medicine -- in which case, it means the health care costs of a job provider or job creator has escalated, or is escalating. [In the campaign] I talked about the competitive advantage that we must have in America if we expect jobs to stay here. The cost of lawsuits, relative to countries that we compete against, are high. In other words, the cost of litigation in America makes it more difficult for us to compete with nations in Europe, for example.Previous Republican efforts at limiting lawsuits have failed, generally in the Senate, but the administration appears hopeful that under the pressure of a broader Republican mandate Democrats will be less willing and able to stall the requisite legislation. The White House has the full text of the President's remarks. Reuters has more.