Consumers Overwhelmingly Say Lawsuits Should Not “Regulate” New Technologies

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 - 2:00pm

U.S. Chamber Hosts Emerging Technologies and Torts of the Future Event

SEATTLE, WA — During an event today the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) will release a new survey finding that, contrary to the claims of many plaintiffs’ lawyers, nearly 82 percent of consumers believe that filing lawsuits is not the best way to regulate emerging technologies, such as cars that operate without a human driver. This survey and a new paper, titled Torts of the Future II: Addressing the Liability and Regulatory Implications of Emerging Technologies, will be released today during an event co-hosted by ILR and the Chamber Technology Engagement Center (C_TEC) titled “Emerging Technologies and Torts of the Future.”

“At a time of rapid innovation and new technology development, those starting out can’t be bogged down by frivolous lawsuits and overregulation,” said C_TEC Senior Vice President Tim Day. “C_TEC stands to promote the role of emerging technologies in our economy and advocates for rational policy solutions that drive economic growth, spur innovation, and create jobs. We will continue to promote a legal and regulatory environment that supports – not stifles – new innovation, such as unmanned aircraft systems and autonomous vehicles.”

ILR’s new paper, Torts of the Future II, examines how courts and policymakers can address legitimate safety and privacy concerns around emerging technologies without derailing or delaying progress. 

“Technology moves at a lightning fast pace, but so does the risk of devastating lawsuits and court rulings that will do nothing except chill innovation, generate millions of dollars for plaintiffs’ lawyers and deny consumers new and exciting technology,” said ILR Executive Vice President Harold Kim. “As policymakers and regulators address emerging technologies there is one thing they should consider: Enabling lawyers to regulate via litigation is exactly the wrong approach.”

For more information about today’s event or to watch the livestream beginning at 12:00 PM PDT, click here.

ILR seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the global, national, state, and local levels.

C_TEC promotes the role of technology in our economy and advocates for rational policy solutions that drive economic growth, spur innovation, and create jobs.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.