Consumer advocate Ralph Nader told a House panel Monday that the liability insurance crisis is a hoax created by the insurance industry to limit an injured person's right to sue for damages.
But an insurance industry spokesman challenged Nader to "put up or shut up" on his recent charges that there is an industry conspiracy aimed at increasing profits.
At a hearing of the House Ways and Means oversight subcommittee, Nader urged Congress not to enact any law limiting damage recovery or the right to sue until it gets specific financial information from the insurance industry.
"This industry is trying to generate a revolution in reduction of the rights of injured people . . . without disclosing the (financial) data," Nader said. "The reason is because they can't support their case."
However, John Crosby, vice president and general counsel for the National Assn. of Independent Insurers, said the industry has urged Nader for months to produce evidence of a conspiracy.