American Association For Justice NewsRep. Shimkus' Draft Bill Grants Immunity to the Chemical Industry for Poisoning Americans with Dangerous Toxins
February 28, 2014
Washington, DC— The following is a statement from American Association for Justice President Burton LeBlanc on Rep. John Shimkus’ (R-IL) draft Chemicals in Commerce Act:
“Far too often the lives of American families are dangerously impacted by chemicals in our drinking water, children’s toys and consumer products. The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) must be reformed to effectively protect the public, but Rep. Shimkus' draft bill doesn't come close as it eviscerates public health safeguards, preempts state law and grants immunity to the chemical industry.”
“The draft bill completely disregards known concerns of advocates for public health, the environment, consumers and states' rights. Instead, Rep. Shimkus’ bill allows the chemical industry to control the science the EPA uses to regulate chemicals, preempts states from taking action on dangerous toxins, and all the while ensures that chemical manufacturers cannot be held accountable in the civil justice system.”
“The end result is that Rep. Shimkus' draft bill only benefits corporations responsible for poisoning and killing Americans and places the health and safety of American families at risk.”
"Congress must prioritize the health and safety of Americans by passing meaningful and effective TSCA reform, not granting a handout to the chemical industry."
How Rep. Shimkus' Draft Bill Immunizes the Chemical Industry
If enacted, Rep. Shimkus’ draft bill would: Trial Attorneys Help Host City New Orleans During Convention
February 27, 2014
Washington, DC — During the American Association for Justice’s (AAJ) Winter Convention, held this year in New Orleans, AAJ members gave back to the city by participating in a Habitat for Humanity build, donating school supplies and giving presentations on the importance of ending distracted driving.Proposed Changes to Federal Rules Would Eliminate Access to Justice
December 20, 2013
Washington, DC- The Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure of the United States Courts is considering major changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which would dramatically alter our legal system, making it much more difficult to hold corporations that injure and kill Americans accountable in court.Congress Must Revoke Corporations' License to Steal
December 17, 2013
Washington, DC—The following is a statement from American Association for Justice President Burton LeBlanc on the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing addressing forced arbitration:CFPB Hearing to Address Forced Arbitration, Banks' License to Steal
December 12, 2013
Washington, DC—The following is a statement from American Association for Justice President Burton LeBlanc on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s field hearing and study addressing forced arbitration:House Passes Bill to Bully Americans Out of Their Rights
November 14, 2013
Washington, DC-The following is a statement from American Association for Justice President Burton LeBlanc in response to the passage of H.R. 2655 by the U.S. House of Representatives:
"At a time when our courts are already suffering from persistent underfunding, today Congress voted to add unnecessary burdens and delays to the civil justice system.
"H.R. 2655 is little more than a Congressional takeover of the judicial system. It will force our courts and judges down a path that is known to be unnecessary and counterproductive.
"When these rules were in effect from 1983 to 1993, they created additional litigation and added costly hurdles to justice for Americans who were targets of discrimination and civil rights violations.
"Congress should focus efforts on improving access to justice instead of passing legislation that allows corporations to bully Americans out of court and out of vindicating their rights."
House Passes Bill to Grant Handout to Asbestos Corporations
November 13, 2013
Washington, DC-The following is a statement from American Association for Justice President Burton LeBlanc in response to the passage of H.R. 982 by the U.S. House of Representatives:House Considers Bills to Limit Americans' Rights
November 12, 2013
Washington, DC—The following is a statement from America Association for Justice President Burton LeBlanc in response to the passage of H.R. 982 and H.R. 2655 out of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Rules.FDA to Fix Accountability Imbalance for Generic Drug Manufacturers
November 8, 2013
Washington, DC-The following is a statement from American Association for Justice President Burton LeBlanc on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) new proposed rules on generic drug labeling:Federal Courts Should Not be Rigged in Favor of Corporations
November 7, 2013
Washington, DC— The rights of all Americans to access justice and accountability are at risk. American Association for Justice President Burton LeBlanc and other top civil justice advocates will testify today before the Judicial Conference of the United States about proposed changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that would dramatically alter our legal system, making it much more difficult to hold corporations that injure and kill Americans accountable in court.
“These changes would devastate Americans’ access to justice and rig the courts in favor of corporations that violate our rights,” said LeBlanc. “This will further stack the deck against American citizens and small businesses seeking accountability in court.”
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure establish how civil lawsuits are filed, pursued, and tried in federal courts. The proposed Rules changes would limit discovery, decrease the number and length of depositions and remove incentives to preserve critical documents. This will have a chilling effect on civil rights, employment discrimination, bank fraud and environmental cases because the information needed to prove these types of case is often in the sole possession of the corporation.
These changes will also directly impact taxpayers. Cases that allege fraud in government programs would be more difficult to prove. For example, in a case against Momence Meadows Nursing Home and its owner, Jacob Graff, a whistle-blower claimed Graff and the nursing home defrauded the federal government and the state of Illinois by billing Medicare and Medicaid for services that were done so poorly they were essentially worthless to patients. This case required the review of approximately 350 boxes of patient files and company records, all of which were necessary to prove proper care was not documented or provided. Under the proposed Rules, obtaining these documents would be extremely burdensome, maybe even impossible.
“This will force cases to be decided before all the facts are found and brought to light,” added LeBlanc. “If Americans can’t seek justice in the courtroom, what safety information could corporations hide from the public? If no one is accountable, no one is safe.”