January 2014

West Virginia Spill Highlights Problems with TSCA Reform Bill

The recent chemical spill in West Virginia illustrates why we must update the outdated Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which has failed for decades to appropriately regulate dangerous chemicals.  However, the current industry-approved bill being considered in the U.S. Senate, the Chemical Safety Improvement Act (S. 1009) (CSIA), poses serious problems for the safety of all Americans.

AAJ President Shares Influential Asbestos Story

Asbestos is the quintessential example of corporations knowing that they are marketing deadly products and covering up the evidence for profit.  In many cases, asbestos manufacturers are fully aware that their workers were dying at alarming rates, yet they hide the dangers.

Patient Safety Should Be No. 1 Concern

If 20 jetliners began crashing weekly, said a safety expert recently, "There would be a national ground stop. Fleets would be grounded. Airports would close. There would be a presidential commission. The NTSB would investigate. No one would fly until we had solved the problems." You're probably now thinking, "What kind of crazy hypothetical is that?"

Video: Real Story Shows Dangers of Lack of Accountability

Some years ago, Viola, a retired school secretary, started experiencing constant stomach aches and nausea. She took a generic form of Reglan. She took this drug for six years hoping to get better. Instead, Viola began experiencing serious side effects. Her legs would involuntarily jerk, even while she was sleeping. Her facial muscles and eventually her tongue followed suit. Viola no longer attends Church, because her mouth and legs make so much noise involuntarily that she worries about disturbing those around her.

Viola’s justice was denied because she took a generic drug instead of the brand name.  How much longer can we allow the makers of generic drugs to evade their responsibilities?

If no one is accountable, no one is safe.   

Forced Arbitration Eliminates Justice for Atlanta Homeowner

Greg Cole owns a house outside Atlanta valued at almost half a million dollars - but according to Greg, he cannot even sleep in it. He believes construction problems caused cracks, which led to leaks and mold. The mold became so bad he and his family had to move out after becoming sick from the mold.

When Greg went to seek justice he found another hidden danger – a forced arbitration clause buried in the fine print of his contract with his homebuilder. According to CBS of Atlanta, this meant that he could not take his case to court, but instead was forced to go before an arbitration panel that was handpicked by the homebuilder.

As CBS of Atlanta reported, all consumers are at risk because forced arbitration clauses, like the one that was used against Greg, grant corporations a license to steal and violate the law. See video here

Video: Donohue, U.S. Chamber Continue Lawsuit Hypocrisy

On Wednesday, Jan. 8, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Tom Donohue continued his blatant lawsuit hypocrisy at the U.S. Chamber’s annual State of American Business address. 

Watch and listen to Donohue in his own words claim that the courtroom should be open for the U.S. Chamber but for not consumers.  We call that “Do as I Say, Not as I Sue” 

Video: AAJ President Discusses Generic Drugs

Nearly 80 percent of all prescriptions in the U.S. are filled with the generic version of a drug.  The price tag can be appealing, but taking a generic drug can also have dangerous consequences because generic drug manufacturers are not accountable for the safety of drugs they produce.

Accountability is a key incentive to ensure drug companies monitor and adequately warn patients about the safety of drugs. Despite what many may think, the FDA does not test drugs, but instead relies on testing provided by the drug companies.  FDA approval of a drug does not guarantee safety.  

In the above video, American Association for Justice President Burton LeBlanc talks about the accountability imbalance between generic drugs and name-brand drugs and how the lack of accountability can put consumers at risk.