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Now playing at your local theater: Tort reform videos!

DC-area moviegoers can expect to get something a little different as they chomp their popcorn waiting for the film to start: a message about tort reform.

That’s right – along with the normal movie trailers, commercials, and reminders to silence cell phones in the theatres, audience members at select Washington-area theatres will see videos lamenting the problem of lawsuit abuse – care of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform has been featuring a number of videos assailing what it calls the overabundance of tort suits on its website. One video, for example, tells the story of a 7-year-old who was sued after a collision with an adult on the ski slopes. Now, for the next month or so, the ILR it is taking the videos to the big screen.

“Lawsuit abuse and the harm it brings to our citizens and small businesses is one of the great American tragedies today,” explained ILR President Lisa Rickard. “That’s why the silver screen is the perfect venue for the Faces of Lawsuit Abuse trailers. The only difference between the feature presentation and these short films is that the damage, the costs, the winners and losers that are featured aren’t fiction-they’re true stories.”

What does the trial lawyer group the American Association for Justice think about the Chamber’s theatrical move? Spokesman Ray DeLorenzi told the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog: “With U.S. Chamber’s core membership receiving all those taxpayer bailouts, they must be flush with cash to waste on PR stunts like this. Like their lobbying agenda, these ads are rated NC – not suitable for consumers.”

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