My favorite example is the 1857 case, Macready v. City of Alton. Mary Macready, a New York actress, was walking down the street in Alton, Ill., and fell through some sidewalk construction and badly injured her ankle, leg and back. Lincoln demanded $20,000 but was only able to recover $300 at a jury trial.
Imagine that! Not more than four years before he began prosecuting the war to save the Union, the Great Emancipator was prosecuting a simple P.I. case!
But if you know a little bit about Lincoln, and you’re a not a member of Texans for Lawsuit Reform, that shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise. Lincoln, a true lover of the American justice system, had great respect for its foundational practice—the trial by jury.
Juries, as Lincoln well knew, are one of the indispensible features of self-government, where we as representatives of our community decide what practices endanger our safety and wellbeing.
Or as Lincoln put it, in his famous Rock Island Bridge case, “What is reasonable skill and care? This is a thing of which the jury is to judge.” And it’s precisely the thing that Texans for Lawsuit Reform don’t want us as jury to judge.
So, I thought the Consumer Products Safety Commission was supposed to protect you and me and our families (and our pets) from dangerous, unsafe products. Now, an industry lobbyist has been tapped to run the Commission. I'm thinking of taking the Commission's link off our blog if the Baroody's nomination is approved. Not that people can't have a change of heart and switch sides, but considering his track record, you can't blame me for being concerned.
The Stop Baroody campaign is reprinted below: http://www.stopbaroody.com/ President Bush has nominated Michael Baroody - one of Corporate America's leading anti-consumer henchmen - to head the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) - our top government agency protecting millions of Americans from injury and death from unsafe products.For the past 13 years, Michael Baroody has served as Executive Vice President at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) - a K Street lobbying behemoth devoted to helping big…
A new report released today by the American Association for Justice (AAJ) illustrates how the civil justice system is the most effective force in uncovering abuses by corporate nursing homes and insurance companies that target elderly Americans. There are 1.5 million elderly Americans currently residing in nursing homes – facilities that are now operated by mostly large corporate chains banking on the upcoming influx of baby boomers. Many of these vulnerable residents have suffered abuse by staff members and even died from dehydration or infection caused by inadequate care. The report explains how litigation has revealed this neglect and abuse and allowed residents and their families to hold offending corporations accountable.“Corporate nursing homes and insurance companies have continually chosen to put profits ahead of the well-being of our most vulnerable population,” said AAJ President Gibson Vance. “Where regulatory and legislative bodies have been unable to cope with…
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court held that FDA drug regulation does not preempt common law claims in state courts. This is a huge victory for consumers! The Court's decision in Wyeth v. Levine allows consumers to move forward with lawsuits against drug companies that sell defective drugs. I am happily surprised at the 6-3 outcome, and the Court in its wisdom found that Congress never intended for FDA labeling rules to preempt lawsuits in state courts.
“If Congress thought state-law suits posed an obstacle to its objectives, it surely would have enacted an express preemption provision at some point during the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act’s 70 year history…Its silence on the issue, coupled with its certain awareness of the prevalence of state tort litigation, is powerful evidence that Congress did not intend FDA oversight to be the exclusive means of ensuring drug safety and effectiveness.”