In the News

Congress Acts on Drywall in First Day of 2013

While the “fiscal cliff” negotiations continued in the wee hours, Congress did pass one piece of legislation that got very little national attention: legislation that would set standards for drywall.  It might seem trivial, but not for the thousands of homeowners who have lost their homes or suffered significant drops in their home values because of dangerous Chinese drywall that was used after hurricane Katrina created shortages in the South.

Instagram and Your Legal Rights

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

The REAL danger in Instagram's new Terms of Use: forced arbitration

Perhaps you’ve read about the controversy over new “Terms of Use” from the photo-sharing service Instagram, which now is owned by Facebook.  Under the terms, if you use Instagram it is free to sell your photos, your likeness and pretty much anything else it knows about you to advertisers – without any further consent on your part, and without compensating you.  And if, by some chance, you’re under 18, Instagram assumes that when you click “accept,” at least one parent has read over the terms and agreed to them on your behalf.

The Atlantic: One Quick Answer to Sandy Hook? Repeal the 2005 Arms Act

Should those who make and sell guns be immune from lawsuits?  One prominent legal analyst argues the law needs to change.  Check out Andrew Cohen’s article for The Atlantic.

WSJ Misrepresents Personal Injury Law In Support Of ALEC Effort To Deny Asbestos Relief In Ohio

This post was originally published on Media Matters for America’s blog and can be found here.

A Wall Street Journal editorial echoed right-wing talking points to endorse an Ohio bill that would restrict asbestos victims from proving their claims at trial. But the editorial, which claims "rampant fraud" exists in asbestos-related litigation, provides no evidence of systemic abuse, conceals the fact that multiple companies can be legally responsible for asbestos injuries, and fails to disclose that the state legislation is a corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council bill pushed by top Republican ALEC officials.

Generic Drug Immunity Redux

Karen suffered “hell on earth” because of a generic drug, according to her burn surgeon.  Is the maker immune from responsibility?    

Last week the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case that could have an impact on those who are injured after taking a generic drug.

Meningitis Outbreak: Congress, State Laws and Marjorie's Story

Patients’ legal rights are constantly under attack in the state as well as federal level. For example, in Michigan when a resident is hurt by an unsafe drug or a medical device that was approved by the FDA, state law prohibits filing a lawsuit against the manufacturer.  As if this doesn’t inhibit access to justice enough, the state legislature is trying to further restrict patients’ rights.

We only need to look at the meningitis outbreak to see why bad actors must be held responsible for the injuries they cause.  Marjorie Norwood of Tennessee is among the many victims.  She is battling meningitis from a tainted steroid shot.  Her daughter Melanie shared her mother’s tragic story.

Unequal Justice: How the 1% Court Has Limited Your Rights

“While American democracy is imperfect, few outside the majority of this Court would have thought its flaws included a dearth of corporate money in politics.” Justice John Paul Stevens on Citizens United v. FEC.

Take the Tort Quiz

3. The median damage award in tort cases is:

a. $1 million

b. Between $500,000 and $1 million

c. Between $100,000 and $500,000

d. Less than $100,000

The web of tort ‘reform’

This week, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is holding its annual States and Nation Policy Summit in D.C.  ALEC’s Civil Justice Task Force will meet to discuss new ideas on how to limit your right to access the courts.  ALEC is among the top corporate front groups pushing the tort “reform” movement, especially at the state level.  Below is an excerpt from an article in the upcoming December issue of Trial, the flagship magazine of the American Association for Justice (AAJ).

Malpractice fix? We should never give up trial right

If there is some “defensive medicine” going on, it is no more unnecessary than is defensive driving. It is done to protect people. Doctors order tests because they do not want to risk their patients’ health. They order tests because they want additional confirmation of a diagnosis before ordering costly, potentially dangerous treatment. They also may want to satisfy their patients’ desire for more certainty.

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