THEIR VIEW: Good for Eli Lilly

By The West Virginia Record | Feb 23, 2009


CHARLESTON -- It's about time.

Finally, one of these companies has stood up to Darrell McGraw and the rest of these pack of hyenas otherwise known as liberal states Attorneys General.

At some point, just like companies began doing with Workers' Comp claim some years back, companies are going to have to start standing up to the states' AGs.

The number one person on their list needs to be Darrell McGraw.

Otherwise, if these companies don't start spending money making these AGs actually prove that something they did was wrong, it will continue to be a pack mentality by these AG's to bring these companies to their knees and bring home loot just to make these lawsuits go away.

Look, I understand there are some bad actors out there. More power to the AGs who go after them. But, in most cases, reputable companies (such as Eli Lilly) are the ones targeted by state AGs. The reason? They have deep pockets.

And, what's even worse is that in most cases, it is actually trial lawyer firms who take these "cases" to the states' AGs and get them excited about getting involved and getting some cash. After all, if a major trial lawyer firm can induce an AG to back them, they know have the entire power of a state government behind them. That makes their case much easier to win versus taking on a company such as Eli Lilly themselves.

So, instead of facing the corporate lawyers on their own, they call Chief Deputy AG Fran Hughes, and Fran throws the full weight and power of the state of West Virginia behind these firms efforts.

Who do they go after? While the say the only go after bad actors, then the ONLY bad actors out there companies with deep pockets. Funny how that works.

And, what is happening is that trial lawyer firms get paid off by the state's AG and are promised a lucrative payday. Many, many have cashed in using Darrell McGraw's name -- if you want to know who, just check out Darrell McGraw's campaign contribution lists and you probably have 90 percent of them.

So, a big company like Eli Lilly looks at this, sees multiple state AGs lined up against them and simply decides to pay whatever it takes to get it behind them and reduce the negative publicity.

Obviously, this course of action simply encourages these pack of wolves to go after more and more easy prey, picking out the weakest and fattest prey. Putting a state's power as a gun to their head and assuring them either they will right a check or the state will simply drag them through the mud usually makes companies simply pull out the check book and ask how to make out the check.

Until companies like Eli Lilly and others start fighting back, this couse will continue. Once these trial lawyer firms… err… state AGs see that they are actually going to have to litigate these cases and prove wrongdoing, these lawsuits will go away.

When state's realize that reputable companies are fighting them… well, let me take that back, when the trial lawyer firms who are using the state AGs as their archers in this game realize that they are going to be facing years of litigation and an actual battle, you will see them turn to an easier course of action to make their loot.

When it gets to the point that trial lawyer firms and the states' AGs are actually going to have to PROVE that a company is doing something wrong and when they realize these companies aren't simply going to roll over and write these AGs a check, THAT'S when this ridiculousness will stop.

Considering our state's AG is the worst, the state will benefit in the long run. Instead of the trial lawyers of our state getting rich, our citizens actually may be able to see business growth and jobs. Now, there's a unique thought.

Sprouse is the former Minority Leader of the West Virginia Senate. He currently owns a consulting company in Charleston.

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