"Going Broke on Damage Awards" (Washington, December 1985) displays a flawed understanding of both the nature of the insurance crisis and of the National Federation of Independent Business's (NFIB) efforts to solve the problem.

The column raises product-liability insurance as a "prime example" of the current crisis. It is not. Product-liability problems afflict a relatively narrow segment of the small-business community -- primarily manufacturers. The current crisis is far broader, encompassing commercial property and casualty insurance lines, which are essential to the operation of virtually all types of business.

The piece also creates the impression that the insurance crisis results from a tort system run amok, and that it can effectively be remedied only through federal legislation. The NFIB disagrees on both counts.

The article also errs in chalking up the NFIB's neutrality on last year's uniform product-liability bill to the organization's inability to "make up its mind about which side to support." The NFIB followed the will of its 500,000 members, whose vote impelled us to withhold support for this bill.

Published on: Apr 1, 1986