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Worst Corporate Conduct of 2018

Corporations were contrite in 2018. Many spent millions of dollars studying how to apologize and running advertising campaigns to say sorry to Americans for defrauding customers and investors, failing to protect sensitive personal information, and failing to create workplaces where sexual harassment is not tolerated. But do these apologies lead to meaningful changes to improve the quality and safety of the products and services provided?

Fighting For Those Who Fight For Us: Protecting the Rights of Servicemembers and Veterans

Servicemembers and veterans are often targeted by the unscrupulous and, despite their service to their country, are frequently denied the constitutional rights they fight to protect. Though Congress has passed laws to protect the rights of servicemembers and veterans, legal maneuvers have left many unable to hold wrongdoers accountable when a bank forecloses upon a deployed soldier’s home, when an employer fires a reservist who’s called to active duty, when a commanding officer rapes a subordinate, or when exposure to a toxic substance on the job causes cancer. When our institutions fail to protect the rights of men and women who make up America’s first line of defense, the civil justice system has proven to be the last line of defense.

Worst Corporate Conduct of 2017

In 2017, the #MeToo movement forced the country to confront an uncomfortable truth about how women are treated in the workplace. Women across the country began to speak out about being sexually harassed and assaulted at work. This epidemic has remained secret in large part because forced arbitration clauses hidden in the fine print of employment contracts prevent workers from holding their harassers and employers publicly accountable when they create a hostile work environment. Such forced arbitration clauses were brought into the spotlight when former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson bravely shared her story of sexual harassment. In sharing her story, Carlson prompted other women to come forward and share their experiences – uncovering a corporate culture rife with rampant sexual harassment.

Driven to Safety: Robot Cars and the Future of Liability

Robot cars may transform the automobile industry from one based on car ownership to one based on ride-share services. The auto insurance industry may wither, as the idea of personal car ownership slowly disappears. And without human drivers, or insurance policies to match, traditional approaches to liability when there are crashes may have to evolve.

Concussions and the Courthouse

The dangers of traumatic brain injuries in sports have long been known, but it is only recently that widespread change in attitude to such injuries has taken hold, as the civil justice system has begun to hold sports leagues and school districts accountable.

Food Safety and the Civil Justice System

Every year, 48 million people fall sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and at least 3,000 die from foodborne illnesses, costing the nation approximately $77 billion. When food companies put profits before safety, and the regulatory system proves unable to force change, it has fallen to the civil justice system to protect consumers.

License to Steal: How the U.S. Chamber Forced Arbitration on America

Through the Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), the U.S. Chamber has been at the forefront of a heavily-funded campaign to eliminate corporate accountability. But where a billion-dollar campaign has not succeeded in closing the courthouse door, its more stealthy compatriot - forced arbitration - has gone a long way to shielding corporations from accountability and replacing the courthouse altogether. Learn more here.

Do As I Say, Not As I Sue: Exposing the Lawsuit-Happy Hypocrites of U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform

The Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), an arm of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has the sole mission of restricting the ability of individuals harmed by negligent corporations to access the civil justice system. According to the multinational corporations that finance ILR, American businesses are hindered by too many lawsuits. Yet these same corporations show no hesitation in liberally using the courthouse themselves. Learn more here

Medical Negligence: The Role of America’s Civil Justice System in Protecting Patients’ Rights

Preventable medical errors kill and seriously injure hundreds of thousands of Americans every year. Any discussion of medical negligence that does not involve preventable medical errors ignores this fundamental problem. And while some would prefer to focus on doctors’ insurance premiums, health care costs, or alternative compensation systems – anything other than the negligence itself – reducing medical errors is the best way to address all the related problems. Preventing medical errors will lower health care costs, reduce doctors’ insurance premiums, and protect the health and well-being of patients.