September 2013 | Take Justice Back

September 2013

Take Justice Back Honors National Mesothelioma Awareness Day

H.R. 982 would delay justice for Americans like Joe, who died from mesothelioma

Washington, DC—Today marks National Mesothelioma Awareness Day.  Take Justice Back is honoring those we have lost to mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos exposure, by fighting to protect their rights in Congress

After leaving the army, Joe spent 20 years working for a local water company. Part of his job included working with cement pipes-exposing him to asbestos.

A few years back, Joe began experiencing chest pain, shortness of breath and coughing, which his doctors diagnosed as mesothelioma. After his diagnosis, Joe underwent many horrific and invasive medical procedures, dramatic weight loss, and a very painful battle that ultimately took his life.

Joe left behind his children and his wife of 28 years. Adding insult to Joe’s untimely death, lawmakers are now considering H.R. 982 which allows asbestos companies like the one Joe worked for – who was responsible for his cancer – to avoid responsibility.

Today: House Hearing on Chemical Regulation

Yesterday we highlighted seven ways the 7th Amendment has made America safer. Today the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee held a hearing on the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA), which has failed to keep Americans safe for decades. We must reform TSCA in order to keep our families and environment safe.  

The subcommittee is looking at how current chemicals are regulated and the potential effects of federal law on state law.

Constitution Day Special: Brought To You By The 7th

In honor of Constitution Day, we are highlighting seven ways the 7th Amendment has made America safer.

For those of you without a pocket Constitution, the 7th Amendment is your right to a trial by jury.  It allows you to access the civil justice system and hold corporations accountable when they injure and kill innocent Americans, pollute our environment and endanger our children.  As we know all too well, if no one is accountable, no one is safe.

Vulnerable Nursing Home Patients Need Ability to Sue in Court as Government Agencies Fail to Protect Them

This post was originally published on Public Justice’s blog and can be found here.

By Leslie Bailey, Staff Attorney, Public Justice 

According to a new report just released by the Center for Investigative Reporting and reported by KQED, the failure of California regulators to adequately investigate and pursue claims of abuse and misconduct by nursing assistants and health aids is “putting the elderly, sick, and disabled at risk.” In fact, the regulators that are charged with protecting vulnerable patients in nursing homes and assisted living facilities are either conducting “cursory and indifferent” investigations, or simply closing cases without taking any action at all. The report underscores how critically important it is for people to have the ability to sue when loved ones are harmed by nursing home neglect—or worse.

Schwab Case Spotlights Lack of Rights for Investors on Wall Street

Today, the New York Times highlighted a controversial move by Charles Schwab to evade accountability by eliminating investors’ rights.  Earlier this year, Schwab announced they would use a forced arbitration clause in the fine print of their contracts to wipe-out their clients’ rights to join together in class actions. 

USA Today LTE: Accountability Keeps Americans Safe

More than 98,000 people die every year because of preventable medical errors–making it the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

Despite this serious epidemic, corporate front groups are working hard in the U.S. Congress and state legislatures throughout the country to limit accountability and access to the civil justice system when patients are harmed or killed by medical errors.