Friday, February 11

FAREWELL, ERIN BROCKOVICH

Senate votes to curb class-action suits in state courts.

Mr. Bush issued a statement praising the vote, his first legislative victory of his second term.

"Our country depends on a fair legal system that protects people who have been harmed without encouraging junk lawsuits that undermine confidence in our courts while hurting our economy, costing jobs and threatening small businesses," the president said. "The class-action bill is a strong step forward in our efforts to reform the litigation system and keep America the best place in the world to do business."

The legislation has long been promoted by large and small businesses, particularly manufacturers and insurance companies, and failed by a single vote in the Senate in 2003. It could have an especially significant effect on cases involving accusations of defective products, like drugs and cars; plaintiffs in such cases have had success in bringing large class actions in state courts. Automakers and drug makers have worked for years with manufacturers and insurers to press Congress to adopt the bill.


Yeah, let's protect those small businesses that are "threatened," such as automakers and drug manufacturers -- small businesses, all. Let's get real. How many "small businesses" actually have the power to adversely affect enough people to warrant a class-action lawsuit? This is all about big business, and shielding them from the results of their own malfeasance. Goodbye to the Erin Brockovich-es of the world, fighting to hold corporate America accountable. Unbelievable.
...
"This bill is one of the most unfair, anticonsumer proposals to come before the Senate in years," said Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the minority leader. "It slams the courthouse doors on a wide range of injured plaintiffs. It turns federalism upside down by preventing state courts from hearing state law claims. And it limits corporate accountability at a time of rampant corporate scandals."


Boy, am I liking that Harry Reid. How in the world do those 18 Democrats who voted with the Repugs justify this action to themselves? Here are their names:

Bayh (IN)
Bingamon (NM)
Cantwell (WA)
Carper (DE)
Conrad (ND)
Dodd (CT)
Feinstein (CA)
Johnson (SD)
Kohl (WI)
Landrieu (LA)
Lieberman (CT)
Lincoln (AR)
Nelson (NE)
Obama (IL)
Reed (RI)
Rockefeller (WV)
Salazar (CO)
Schumer (NY)

UPDATE: Another Bush deception:

Bush appeared at the Commerce Department with what he pretended was an independent expert to push his fight against class-action lawsuits. That person, Walter E. Dellinger III, is no independent expert who has seen the light on this issue: he and his law firm are paid lobbyists, receiving $780,000 in the last few years to push for the legislation. Can you imagine? Bush made a point of saying Dellinger had worked for the Clinton Administration -- as if that proved his bona fides -- but didn't mention the guy was a shill for the people pushing to change the laws. The President lied. This should be scandalous. But they've done it so often it was blown off in an inside story in the New York Times.

2 Comments:

Blogger PSoTD said...

Unfortunately, there's a two word answer.

Campaign Contributions.

7:01 AM  
Blogger Motherlode said...

I'd agree, but they're hurting trial lawyers, who are the most reliable sources of Democratic campaign contributions.

"I wish someone would explain it to me like I was a four-year-old." (Sorry, Denzel)

10:15 AM  

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