Each year, personal injury law firms and marketing companies that specialize in lead generation spend millions of dollars on thousands of ads on television, social media and websites targeting prescription drugs and medical devices. The goal of these ads is to recruit clients for mass tort lawsuits.
But some of these ads mislead and even endanger viewers, by suggesting they are communicating objective or government-approved medical information. In response, five states have enacted legislation to curb common deceptive practices in lawsuit advertising and protect public health over the past three years.
These efforts should be applauded. And with a federal appellate court's recent rejection of a First Amendment challenge to one of these laws, the way is now clear for additional states to act to curb the most harmful consequences of these ads.