Friday, February 18


President Bush will sign today his Bill To Reward Big Businesses Who Defraud Or Injure Their Customers But Donate Big to Republican Campaigns:

"This bill is the Vioxx protection bill, it is the Wal-Mart protection bill, it is the Tyco protection bill, and it is the Enron protection bill," said Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), the Associated Press reported.

Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) called the bill "the final payback to the tobacco industry, to the asbestos industry, to the oil industry, to the chemical industry at the expense of ordinary families who need to be able go to court to protect their loved ones when their health has been compromised."

This was, and is, such a cynical ploy to protect businesses from the consequences of their own actions. And once again, Bush and the Republicans have lied to Congress and to the American people. "Our courts are clogged with frivolous lawsuits"? In fact, U.S. businesses file four times more lawsuits than individuals and are penalized by judges much more often for frivolous suits, according to a report by Public Citizen, Frequent Filers: Corporate Hypocristy in Accessing the Courts:

Yet in Cook County, Ill., insurance companies filed about 8,000 lawsuits in 2002 — 35 times the number of class actions filed there by individuals that year, Public Citizen found. In fact, insurers file so many suits— mostly “subrogation” suits designed to recover the expense of covering their own policy holders — that last year they asked to be exempted from a model lawsuit “reform” law that would limit citizen access to the courts and that they otherwise support.

“We see nothing wrong with anyone, whether an individual or a business, taking a genuine dispute to court when it can’t be resolved amicably,” said Jackson Williams, the Public Citizen attorney who authored the study. “We simply ask that corporations stop demonizing a perfectly good legal system that they regularly utilize.”

See my earlier post, Farewell to Erin Brockovich, for a list of the Democratic Senators who voted for this iniquitous legislation.


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