Recent events have prompted the Utah Trial Lawyers Association, an organization of trial lawyers who primarily represent individuals who have suffered bodily injuries, to reiterate its policy concerning lawsuits.

Ralph Dewsnup, president, said, "Our organization believes that the rights of victims should be vindicated, and that those who suffer injury as a result of another's wrongful conduct should be fairly and adequately compensated. However, the efforts to obtain fair compensation should be carried out reasonably and responsibly."He said the UTLA subscribes to the principles of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America in urging its members to refrain from filing frivolous lawsuits, from including inflammatory language in complaints filed on behalf of clients and from requesting huge general damage awards solely to obtain media attention.

Dewsnup said members are asked to be sensitive about the impact that a request for a specific dollar amount for general damages may have.

Lawsuits demanding large, specific amounts of general damages may tend to mislead or confuse the public, especially when the amounts are published by the news media, he said. "A complaint claiming millions of dollars in damages may bear no relationship to the actual loss sustained," he said.