Saturday, November 29, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Every American worker and consumer has a constitutional right to American courts. Civil justice is the only mechanism by which American workers and consumers can keep corporate greed and irresponsibility under control. This right is as sacred as the right of habeas corpus.
Beginning with the Reagan administration in the 1980s, the executive department has attempted to develop a "statutory method" that prevents American workers and consumers from having their day in court. The preventive feature, called preemption, consists of statutory language that makes it illegal for a state or federal court to hear the claims of workers and consumers regardless of the merits. It's hard to imagine any democratic system that takes away a man's right to complain, but "preemption" does just that.
During the remaining 60 days of Pres. Bush's term, the Bush administration is trying to "push" through 21 regulations that contain preemption language, virtually a "get out of jail free" pass for corporate greed and irresponsibility. The regulations constitute a major assault on the middle-class, working families, and consumers, including among other things limitations on lawsuits involving safety standards for over-the-counter drugs, sunscreen products, automobile roof crush safety standards and crashworthiness of railroad cars that transport hazardous materials.
View "Get out of Jail Free: How the Bush Administration Helps Corporations Escape Accountability." View a list of regulations . American Association for Justice, 11/20/2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Thomas Laney, a dentist and oral surgeon, had 10 lawsuits filed against him, one of which resulted in the death of a patient. Unable to continue practicing as a dentist and oral surgeon, Laney turned himself into a plastic surgeon. Now Laney, the dentist turned plastic surgeon, faces a lawsuit over a botched breast reduction surgery, where a teenage patient was left deformed with extensive scars. The family’s lawyer contends that the consent forms were invalid because the parents and patient were not "fully informed" about the Laney’s lack of training. Vanessa Ho, Seattle Post-Intelligencer 11/09/2008 Read Article: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Saturday, November 15, 2008
In the waning days of an administration that is the most inept administration since the days of Herbert Hoover, the Bush administration has declared "all-out war" on the middle-class in an effort to protect "corporate welfare," "corporate irresponsibility," and "corporate greed."
"What the Bush administration is trying to do in its last days in office is downright frightening…(including) its rush to change at least 50 federal agency rules for the purpose of blocking safety lawsuits by injured consumers, providing immunity to negligent or irresponsible corporations." These actions endanger all citizens and "…undoing the damage must be one of the highest priorities of the new administration."
Joanne Dorshow, Center for Justice & Democracy, The New York Times 11/11/2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Whenever you sign up for credit card or open a brokerage account, you -- the consumer -- unknowingly sign an agreement to arbitrate any dispute you may have with the Company. Many times, the arbitration judge is actually named in the account forms, leaving the individual without any say in the matter. Not only is the arbitration judge rented, but he's pre-selected by the Company who prepares the forms that you sign.
Arbitration is a big business. Arbitration firms make hefty sum of money resolving all the disputes against the Company. As you can imagine, consumers more often than not loses. And the big winner is the Company who selects the arbitration judge.
Recently, a federal appeals court has ruled that plaintiffs seeking damages against American Express over an alleged conspiracy to overcharge customers for foreign transactions cannot be forced into arbitration. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals found that because American Express was not a signatory to other companies with mandatory arbitration agreements, the plaintiffs could not be compelled to arbitrate. The case is Ross v. American Express Co.
Read: Mark Hamblett, Law.com 11/11/2008 Law.com
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Monday, November 03, 2008
Like the recent meltdown in the financial sector, barge-industry profiteers are rarely punished and enforcement is loose, leaving the public to pay the heavy cost associated with the profiteers’ bad behavior.
The editorial called for more policing and harsher penalties for violators. Editors, New Orleans Times-Picayune 11/02/2008 Read Article: New Orleans Times-Picayune