In this country, we all have the right to hold another person or party, or even corporation responsible for their acts of negligence, malpractice and other cases of harm. Recently, the Chamber of Commerce has entered the radio advertisement arena in an attempt to protect its high standing members from these lawsuits and claims of negligence. They claim that this is to protect people from meaningless lawsuits, but these ad campaigns are supported by the same people that the Chamber of Commerce is trying to protect, including oil, tobacco, and insurance companies. It seems to like the Chamber of Commerce does not really care about proper care and practices for individuals and Americans, it seems like they care more about protecting their highest paying and loyal supporters. Once again money is put before rights and in this country people have fought for those rights and they deserve the chance to exercise them when the situation calls for it. People’s rights and needs should come first before money, but once again, this is not the case. If people listen to the ads of the Chamber of Commerce than people will not be able to sue for neglect or abuse of a loved one in a nursing home, or a injury due to a product defect or the injuries that can error due to improper label of products. If the members of the Chamber of Commerce were injured due to malpractice they would want to have the right to sue, so other people deserve this right as well.
For additional information on the Chamber of Commerce radio campaigns, you may visit:
According to the Star Ledger as reported on August 18, 2009, there has been a difference in the amount of money that doctors receive when treating Medicare patients and what hospitals receive. Hospitals only receive a large amount of money, while doctors receive money based on the services they provide to Medicare patients. Some New Jersey hospitals have decided to try and change this by having doctors and hospitals share the profits received. They are hoping this will cut costs by cutting patient stays, lowering rates and improving discharge plans. They are hoping that by saving these costs, hospitals and doctors can work together to help improve medical care for Medicare patients due to sharing financial incentives. Medicare services are significantly more in New Jersey, then the payments that hospitals actually receive. There are currently twelve New Jersey Hospitals participating in this “Medicare Project.”
For additional information on this “Medicare Project” and hospitals involved you may go to:
Health care reform and what rights will be given and which ones will be pushed aside has been the subject of much public debate for many months now. One of the most recent concerns is that the Obama Administration may push aside malpractice reform and rights in order to push for other health care reform that may be more favorable to more people. This does not seem right. People should not have to choose between one of their rights to make room for another.
They should have their voices heard and their rights protected no matter where they are or who they are. There are millions of people that suffer each day in nursing homes from malpractice, abuse, neglect, and much more. They deserve to have their voices heard and rights protected as much as anyone else. If we choose to take away one very necessary right to make room for another, what are we saying to those nursing home patients and their loved ones?
Is this country saying that it does in fact care more about profits than people? If so, then something must be done to change this and make more voices heard. This is America where the rights of the people are supposed to come first before profits.
If you feel that health care reform is pushing malpractice rights aside to make room for other rights and want to do something about it, take action and write a letter to Congress and make your voice heard. Tell them that patient care and rights should not take second place to other rights. Speak up for your loved ones suffering from nursing home abuse and neglect.
If your loved ones have suffered from nursing home abuse and neglect and you want their rights to be protected and heard, contact a nursing home lawyer right away and let them help you get your voice heard for your loved one.
For additional information about health care reform and malpractice reform and to take action, you may go to this site.
In what seems to be an endless bombardment of spin campaigns, the chamber of commerce has now cracked into the movie business, by releasing a trailer to be shown in Washington, D.C. area theatres. Titled’ “The Faces of Lawsuit Abuse,” The Chamber has once again launched an attack against the world’s best legal system in an attempt to shield their exclusive members from lawsuits.
By shamelessly exaggerating isolated issues of what some would call questionable legal practices, the chamber is attempting to invalidate the entire civil legal system of the United States. Although they insist that their goal is to protect everyday citizens from greedy trial attorneys, the truth is that this campaign is just a new phase of their longstanding credo that negligent corporations should never be held accountable. Period.
The consequences of the chamber reaching their goal would be disastrous. Throughout American history, the legal system has combated against the corporate structure and won the right to protect its citizens from the profit driven manufacturers of today’s modern society. From the food we eat, to the toys our children play with, all products sold to consumers today would not be nearly as safe as they are if it were not for the modern legal system. If the Chamber had its way, parents would have never been able to sue when a defective crib killed their child, veterans of Vietnam would not have been compensated for their exposure to deadly toxic agents, and citizens would have never been properly warned of the dangers of tobacco.
The irony of it all is, that while the Chamber doesn’t want everyday Americans to use the legal system, they are actually one of the biggest lawsuit-filers in Washington. Except in their case, Chamber sues on behalf of Wall Street banks, oil companies, and lead paint manufacturers.
Let the government know how you feel about this immoral attack on the best legal system in the world. Write to your local and state representatives and let them know that you do not want the Chamber of Commerce walking on our constitution in order to protect the wallets of its contributors.
In May’s issue, Kate Wilcox stated that a recent U.S. Supreme Court’s decision left drug companies “wide open for lawsuits” because it allowed juries to hold negligent drug companies accountable for harm they cause. The principles expressed by the Supreme Court in the Wyeth decision require federal regulations to improve transparency and public participation in the FDA regulatory process. Also, the decision recognized the state civil justice system provides an additional protection against billion dollar pharmeceutical companies when government regulations fail, and therefore agencies must limit their attempt to preempt state law, except in cases when Congress has explicitly stated its intent to do so. The decision upholds laws that are much needed, especially in light of the long standing practice of pharmaceutical companies to sponsor and pay for the, “research,” of the drugs they make. This practice allows the companies to market the drug’s positive effects while concealing the dangerous side effects that harm patients. The Court’s decision upholds important constitutional rights afforded to all citizens in this country and should be welcomed by a journal that promotes scientific study.
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Recently released data from the Bush Administration’s Department of Justice has confirmed what politicians on both sides of the aisle already knew: Corporate attacks on the validity of the civil justice systems are unwarranted and false.
As part of an ongoing lobbying campaign, the Chamber of Commerce has continuously hassled politicians trying to get them to, “pull in the reigns of greedy trial lawyers who exploit our courts.” They however have been surprised to find out that Democratic President Barack Obama and Former Republican President George W. Bush both agreed that their tales of, “jackpot justice,” practiced by, “opportunist attorney’s,” were bogus.
Recently, the Chamber of commerce, through its political action committee, The Institute for Legal Reform, had pressed President Obama to reform the legal system to benefit corporate interests and make it more difficult for citizens to sue (See our December 23rd article for more information.) Fortunately for President Obama, he only had to look as far as former President George W. Bush for some data on the chamber’s claims.
The Department of Justice, under the Bush Administration, released a study confirming that the Chamber of Commerce’s claims were drastically over exaggerated. The study supplements a recent American Association for Justice study, which discovered the following facts:
Tort Cases make up only 6 percent of civil filings in state courts.
Tort cases represent less than one percent of civil filings in federal court
Manufacturing companies ranked “fear of litigation” as their lowest concern, well behind material costs, energy prices, foreign competition, and taxes.
Median legal expenses of individuals who incurred them were not exorbitant, and usually ranged between $5,000 and $4,000.
Although it is rare, both parties in Washington can agree that the Chamber of Commerce’s claims are not to, “protect the legal system from greedy attorneys,” but instead to bolster corporate image and interest at the expense of the people and the legal system established to protect them.
Like the child who kills his parents and then begs for mercy because he is an orphan, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce now is begging President-elect Barack Obama to protect corporate interests in the nation’s civil litigation system as a way of restoring jobs and bolstering an economy shattered largely (as we now know) by corporate greed and misfeasance. – Andrew Cohen, CBS
Unbelievable.After decades of corruption, greed, and lack of responsibility to the public, the corporate machine has been exposed as the true cause of the economic plunge we are currently facing.And what do they want in return?For the government to shield them from the system put in place for the very purpose of enforcing that responsibility.
Here is what the president of the Chamber of Commerce’s legal arm wrote in an open letter to Obama: “We understand the critical necessity of revitalizing the economy by restoring American jobs, encouraging the growth of U.S. businesses, and protecting the savings and investments of millions of Americans. However, we are concerned that the potential expansion of legal liability significantly impairs these much needed steps toward a national recovery.”
In a desperate attempt to plead for mercy to the new President-Elect, The chamber of commerce is merely renewing an argument that has failed for decades.The Chamber has been pushing tirelessly for almost half a century now to rein in plaintiffs’ attorneys (who look to punish corporate negligence or fraud with civil lawsuits), deregulate industry and commerce (we all know how well Wall Street did with its freedom), and nullify important consumer protection laws (like the one in Maine which is allowing smokers to go after tobacco companies for false advertising).History has shown us how devastatingly successful the Corporate interest machine can be.Because of the Chamber’s organization, innocently named The Institute for Legal Reform, the Securities and Exchange Commission backed off its scrutiny of screwy deals and schemes, the Congress was lax in its oversight of the mortgage industry, litigators were thwarted or punished, and the White House and Justice Department pushed a legal doctrine (“preemption”) that almost always helped employers over employees.
Results such as this put public interest on the loosing side.The American legal system over the past 20 years has been a victim of unremitting advances for the Chamber and its fellow travelers in law, politics and governance. The Chamber has labeled “abusive litigation” as the cause of almost every economic problem to face the modern United States.Could the lawyers who enforce corporate responsibility truly is the cause every economic disaster of our modern economy?
CBS Correspondent and Attorney Andrew Cohen thinks not:
Plaintiffs’ attorneys aren’t responsible for the mortgage-fueled economic meltdown. Class-action litigation isn’t, either. And don’t blame overzealous regulators or greedy employees who want better pay or conditions in their own factories. The people with whom the Chamber and the Institute do battle are not the people who invented or allowed the great pyramid schemes, which brought down Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. They did not force consumers to spend more than they earned or save less than they should. Corporate America is directly responsible for what has just happened to corporate America, and if you don’t believe me, ask the folks at Ford, GM and Chrysler.The economic meltdown came about because business interests were able to greatly decrease the vital tensions between industry and regulation, between oversell and oversight. And it will take the restoration of those tensions by government leaders not just to help bring us out of our slump but to help ensure that the next downturn doesn’t come again for a long time.
The more the chamber of commerce attempts to deregulate the market and further bolster its litigation shield, the farther away we get from turning around the current economic crisis.
This past week, the Chamber of Commerce tried to kill a proposed New Jersey law that would give employees up to six (6) weeks of paid emergency leave for family emergencies. Under the law, the money for the program would come from employees, not employers. Nevertheless, the Chamber of Commerce opposed the measure because it would create an inconvenience to businesses that may temporarily be without the services of an employee who is home caring for a sick child, spouse or parent. The Chamber’s lobbying efforts come as no surprise, as it has a long history of showing little sympathy for workers, consumers, and accident victims and are huge financial supporters of pro-business and anti-consumer legislation.
For example, the Center for Responsible Politics shows that in 2006 the Chamber of Commerce spent over $72,000,000 lobbying Congress in order to keep ordinary citizens and consumers out of the courthouse, and to prevent juries from deciding cases against big business. The Chamber of Commerce routinely spends millions of dollars and uses slick marketing to impugn trial lawyers by claiming they are responsible for the problems of the health care system while refusing to acknowledge that medical malpractice cases are caused by the few doctors who do not follow safety rules.
Each election, the Chamber funds “tort reform” political candidates (i.e. Rick Santorum) whose only agenda is to protect the interest of big business. Despite campaign finance reforms, big business and insurance companies contribute millions of dollars to organizations like the Chamber of Commerce who then use this cash to support tort reform candidates. In many countries, the giving of cash by lobbyists to candidates would be considered corruption. But in our society today, the practice is legal and called “politics.”
The Chamber of Commerce and insurance company lobbyists will spend billions of dollars to change our court system and pollute the minds of the ordinary citizens who make up our jury pool. They spend cash lobbying for politician to put “Caps” on the amount a jury can give for pain and suffering for victims of negligent doctors, companies that make defective products, pharmaceutical companies that give us defective drugs and chemical companies that pollute our waters. The Chamber insists that $250,000 is enough for a child who was killed by a negligent doctor; $250,000 is enough for a family whose father was killed by a drug company that makes billions of dollars selling defective drugs; and $250,000 is enough for a woman to go through life disfigured because a negligent doctor failed to diagnose breast cancer.
Although the Chamber continues to use clever marketing and lobbyists who push their “pro-business’ message, the lobbying in Trenton shows they are ‘anti-consumer.’ Why would an organization spend its considerable resources trying to kill a plan that would offer New Jersey workers paid leave at their own expense? Because insurance companies and big business pay them millions of dollars to do so. Keep this in mind the next time you see an advertisement sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.