Schwartz and Goldberg Expose State’s Bad Litigation Tactics

Shook Partner and Public Policy Practice Chair Victor Schwartz and Partner Phil Goldberg authored an op-ed published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch exposing improper litigation tactics by the Commonwealth of Virginia, which is suing a manufacturer of highway safety products.

When the Federal Highway Administration issued a report stating that the product at issue passed every test, including a study of previous incidents, Virginia officials refuted the results. The state of Virginia then spent more than a quarter-million dollars on new tests not based on any accepted testing protocols in an effort to make the product appear to fail. As Schwartz and Goldberg explain, when governments use their sovereign power to sue a private company, they should be guided by a sense of fairness and public policy. “Highway safety is too important to be the subject of litigation gamesmanship,” they write.