Corporate Lawsuits

Bushies Tie Lack of Jobs to Lack of Tort Reform in Deceitful Move to Promote Anti-Consumer Legislation
Corporate Lawsuits

Bush has loaded the nation's court with anti-environmental, anti-consumer rights judges. He has overturned legislation that protects consumers. He has opposed a patient's bill of rights. He has promoted legislation that leaves citizens with little protection from the corporate abuses he is promoting and facilitating. The only recourse left to consumers is litigation because the only thing corporations understand is $$$$. So now Bush's "corporate front men" (led by Snow) are launching the most bizarre attack yet on citizens' right to litigation by seeking to tie lack of "tort reform" to lack of jobs! This press release uses blatant deception: "America's civil justice system is the world's most expensive, with a total cost of $233 billion to our economy." Yet the release fails to mention that this includes the TOTAL cost of running our legal system - which, until Bush came along, was also the world's best, and thus justified its cost.

Democrats Win Victory for Common Man Vs. Corporate Negligence
Corporate Lawsuits

"Senate Democrats on Wednesday blocked Republican efforts to limit the amount of damages paid in class action lawsuits across the country, mustering enough votes against the bill to likely kill it for the year." The Repugs and their corporate pals whine that lawsuits are driving them out of business. But the truth is unscrupulous companies, notably the pharmaceutical companies, figure lawsuit payouts as just part of the cost of doing business, and so continue to pump out products that kill and disable. With corporations holding all the legislative cards, especially in this Administration, the consumer is left with no redress in many cases EXCEPT suing - and suing for enough $ to make sure a message is sent. For corporations, it's "only money." For a victimized consumer, it may be his or her life.

Sign the Petition to Stop the RIAA Lawsuits
Corporate Lawsuits

From the Electronic Frontier Foundation: "This is astounding - in the first 24 hours, over 6,000 people have signed our petition to stop the Recording Industry Association of America's (RIAA) nationwide rampage against average Americans. Rather than working to create a rational, legal means by which its customers can take advantage of file-sharing technology and pay a fair price for the music they love, it has chosen to sue people like Brianna LaHara, a 12 year old girl living in New York City public housing. Brianna, and hundreds of other music fans like her, are being forced to pay thousands of dollars they do not have to settle RIAA member lawsuits -- supporting a business model that is anything but rational. This crusade is generating thousands of subpoenas and hundreds of lawsuits, but not a single penny for the artists that the RIAA claims to protect.... [W]e need your help to make sure that the public's voice is heard. Tell Congress that it's time to stop the madness."

For the Love of Corporations, House Votes to Move Class Action Suits to Federal Courts
Corporate Lawsuits

The UK Observer reports: "The House of Representatives has voted by 253 to 170 to thwart the vast majority of class action suits in state courthouses, limiting all but the smallest claims to federal courts, where the big companies, say citizens' groups, find it easier to delay the progress of suits and 'shop' for courts more favourable to their interests. 'It's the biggest thing for years,' said a jubilant Lawrence Fineran, vice-president at the Association of Manufacturers. 'Just about every industry group is on this bandwagon, because every industry is affected.' The battle over the future of class actions... now goes to the Senate, where Republicans won a powerful majority during last winter's mid-term elections. Big firms and their lobbying groups in Washington - led by the insurance, energy and private health giants - have been pushing for years to achieve a shift away from state benches, to which judges are usually elected, to the politically appointed federal judiciary."

Nike v. Kasky: Corporations Are Not Persons
Corporate Lawsuits

Jennifer Van Bergen writes: "The case of Nike v. Kasky, currently before the Supreme Court, involves a fundamental question about corporations that unfortunately has not been raised by either the parties in the case or the media. Marc Kasky is suing Nike, Inc. under California laws regulating unfair competition and false advertising. Kasky claims that when an internal audit was leaked to the press that revealed illegal employment practices in Nike's factories in China, Vietnam, and Indonesia, Nike responded by issuing to the press numerous statements it knew to be false. The issue before the Supreme Court is whether Nike can be held liable for its misrepresentations under false advertising laws or whether its various public documents and letters to the press and others are constitutionally protected free speech. Not addressed in the arguments before the Court, but underlying them nonetheless is an invisible beast: the idea that corporations are people."

Bush Attacks Lawyers Who File Suits against Corporate America on the Behalf of Consumers
Corporate Lawsuits

"The White House and its GOP congressional allies are putting trial lawyers on the defensive, from immunizing drug makers from lawsuits to cutting into the fees of attorneys who sue major corporations. The latest effort, ahead of the 2004 elections, was unveiled last month when two Republicans allied with the White House introduced legislation that would sharply curtail lawyers' contingency fees in lawsuit awards topping $100 million. Democrats point out that the legislation is aimed at a group of attorneys who traditionally are a major source of campaign donations for their party. The Association of Trial Lawyers of America contributed $3.8 million to Democrats in the 2002 election cycle, compared to $335,000 to Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. 'We've heard of enemies' lists, but this now looks like the White House and their friends in Congress want to start employing an enemies tax,' Democratic consultant Jenny Backus said."