Coming this week: Legislation threatening your rights to hold corporations and powerful interests accountable.
A new bill coming up in the Senate will limit the rights of citizens to file class action lawsuits when they are victimized by greedy corporations. When pharmaceutical companies like Merck, the maker of Vioxx, or companies like those depicted in the movie “Erin Brockovich” cause harm to regular Americans, class action lawsuits provide critical protections from companies that put profits ahead of health and safety.
With this new law, it will be harder for victims to seek justice!
Consider the case of Janet Huggins, a 39 year-old woman who died of a sudden heart attack while taking Vioxx. Ms. Huggins, a mother to a nine-year-old son, began taking Vioxx for early onset rheumatoid arthritis. Janet was a young healthy woman, with no prior history of heart problems. Lawyers for her family fear that the proposed legislation will stall their search for justice and take years to get through the legal system. (Get more information here)
Sign this petition and send an email to your Senator asking him/her NOT TO SUPPORT class action bill S.5 – a law that would benefit polluters and big corporations at the expense of people wronged and communities harmed by health and environmental disasters.
As your constituent and a citizen, I urge you to oppose S.5, the so-called Class Action Fairness Act. This bill should be called the Class Action Un-Fairness Act, because it is unfair to citizens who have been harmed by violations of our state's environmental, health, and consumer laws.
Class action lawsuits give average Americans a way to band together, access a confusing and expensive legal process, and conserve court resources. Big Pharmaceutical companies, polluters and other corporations are behind S.5 because it would give them an unfair advantage. It would allow them to take such cases out of state courts and move them in to over-burdened federal courts hundreds of miles away, delaying and ultimately denying justice.
State class actions have had lasting, positive affects. After one successful case, public health officials in one state finally began monitoring blood lead levels in poor children, as mandated by law. Drinking water contamination cases brought against oil companies for polluting drinking water have given relief to families in hundreds of communities across the nation.
The legislation would also undermine the case of thousands of Americans who have suffered heart related injuries from taking Vioxx. Whose side is Congress on, big polluters and pharmaceutical companies or average citizens?
S.5 would deprive people in our state their day in court. I ask you to preserve the integrity of our state laws, and protect our citizens by holding polluters and other guilty corporate wrongdoing accountable for their actions. Please oppose S.5.
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