Snake oil. As with the "death tax," there is a special vein reserved in my temple that pops out whenever I hear the phrase "tort reform." Especially when said phrase is uttered by someone who has a sticker in their rear window of Calvin pissing on a Chevy logo. Not to stereotype, of course.
Here is an excellent article on the mythmaking (and the fictitious "Stellas") that is largely used as a justification for claims that the legal system is broken, and it's all because of those pesky frivolous lawsuits.
The article also lays out the facts surrounding the infamous McDonald's hot coffee lawsuit. That one especially drives me batty.
Granted, there are indeed junk lawsuits that have no merit. My legal counsel could tell you about some of these cases in which she delivers a thorough bare-knuckle style beatdown.