Poll Highlights

Class Action Lawsuits

  • 54% think class action lawsuits enable people to hold companies responsible for their actions.
  • 62% think they force companies to pay damages when they’ve done nothing wrong because it’s cheaper to settle a law suit rather than taking it to trial.
  • Only 45% think that class action lawsuits appropriately compensate people who have been harmed.
  • 78% say they’d support a law “saying that in order to join a class action lawsuit a person has to show that he or she has been actually harmed by a company’s products, services or policies, rather than just showing they could potentially have been harmed (as current law allows).”

Judicial Funding

  • 46 % think the court system has all the funding it needs to do its job adequately while 39 percent think the system is underfunded.
  • 29% say that the courts in their area have reduced services or delayed cases as a result of budget problems; more, 41 percent, say not. A particularly large share, 30 percent, have no opinion, likely due to their lack of contact with the court system.
  • Among people who see cutbacks in the court system now, 62 percent, call it a serious problem, and among those who don't see cutbacks now, 52 percent say they would see it as a serious problem if it occurred.
  • Fifty-five percent of men find court funding adequate while 39% find it inadequate.
  • While 49 percent of men think cutbacks either are or would be a serious problem, that percentage rises to 60 percent of women.

Public Trust in Select Business Sectors

Seven business sectors were poll-tested to measure the public's trust in them. They were: automobile manufacturers, auto insurance companies, life insurance companies, major banks and financial institutions, prescription drug manufacturers, health insurance companies, and oil and gas companies.

  • In terms of levels of trust, all sectors fell below 50% when respondents were asked if the companies within each sector were trusted a "great deal" or a "good amount."
  • 42% felt the automobile industry was trusted "a great deal"or a "good amount," the highest rating among the seven business sectors measured.
  • 21% of respondents felt that oil and gas companies were trusted "a great deal" or a "good amount," the lowest rating among the seven business sectors measured.
  • Among the three types of insurance companies tested as being trusted "a great deal" or a "good amount" automobile insurance companies were deemed so by 36%, life insurance companies by 35%, and health insurance companies by 29%.

Corporate Characteristics That Build Trust

When asked which corporate attributes were "extremely" or "very" important:

  • 89% said "quality of products or services"
  • 87% said "customer service"
  • 83% said "how it treats its employees"
  • 56% said "recommendations from others"
  • 50% said "charitable activities or involvement in the community"
  • 41% said "how long a company had been in business"