I read this article about the unfortunate death of extreme skier Doug Coombs. http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/05/16/news/skiers.php
The thing that caught my eye was the statement about how the fear of lawsuits has made US ski resorts adopt stringent safety rules that were partially responsible for Coombs moving to France, where they let people do whatever they want.
According to the article, 53 skiers died in France this year. According to the National Ski Areas Association, in the U.S., on average 38 skiers die here every year. I can't find numbers to make these statistics comparable, but I doubt there is actually more skiing in France, a country 1/5th the size of the U.S.. The only logical explanation is that the threat of lawsuits has made skiing in the United States safer than skiing in France.
People are always eager to blame lawyers for all of the worlds problems, yet we ignor the good things that come from lawsuits. The car industry probably still wouldn't put seatbelts in cars if it wasn't for the work of lawyers like Ralph Nader and other "ambulance chasers". Clearly lawsuits are directly responsible for cars having airbags, gas tanks that don't explode, tailgates that don't pop open at the drop of a hat, cribs that don't turn into gallows when an infant tries to climb out and numerous other safety items that we now take for granted. Next time you complain about the lawyer tabs on your bike, think of the Pinto.