Before the ink was even dry on the Supreme Court ruling in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) case, numerous Members of Congress argued repeatedly and publicly to repeal and replace the ACA with a federal medical malpractice proposal that relies on the Commerce Clause for constitutional authority. This legislation would decimate the legal rights of patients injured by negligence, nursing home abuse, or defective drugs and devices and eliminate any incentive improve patient safety.
Congress / Legislative
Washington, DC—The following is a statement from the American Association for Justice (AAJ) President Gary M. Paul in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act:
“Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a step forward not only in the fight to expand access to healthcare, but also in the fight to protect patients’ access to justice.
Senator Al Franken has introduced a bill, the Equal Employment Opportunity Restoration Act of 2012 (S. 3317), to restore employees’ rights to bring lass-action lawsuits, which were severely limited by a U.S. Supreme court case, Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes, last June.
Rep. Ben Quayle (R-AZ) claimed at a Judiciary Committee markup of his bill to benefit the asbestos industry – H.R. 4369 – that he “has no idea” what the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is.
One thing is for sure, he does know what Honeywell is and Honeywell has used front groups like ALEC and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for years to help it delay justice and deny accountability as it faces over 22,000 asbestos injury claims and billions in asbestos liabilities.
Despite recent backlash and intense consumer pressure on corporations to drop sponsorship of the shadowy front group, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), many corporations are standing by ALEC. Corporations have used ALEC’s Civil Justice Task Force to get a wide swath of state laws enacted to grant corporate immunity when products injure or even kill consumers. For decades, corporate immunity has been ALEC’s specialty.
The House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Courts, Commercial and Administrative Law held a hearing on Thursday on H.R. 4369, the “Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act of 2012.” As we reported last week, the goals of this legislation are to delay justice for victims of asbestos diseases and allow corporations that have profited from asbestos to deny accountability.
Shadowy front groups working on behalf of corporations that have profited from asbestos have convinced lawmakers to hold a hearing tomorrow on legislation that delays justice and allows corporations to deny accountability. The legislation was crafted by lobbyists for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform (ILR).
Why is Victor Schwartz Hiding Ties to ALEC?
A major player in the shadowy corporate front group, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), is now denying his ALEC membership. The Private Sector Chair of ALEC’s Civil Justice Task Force, corporate lobbyist Victor Schwartz, told a reporter that “neither he nor his law firm, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, are members of ALEC” and then declined to comment further.