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Report: Medical Malpractice Insurers More Profitable Than Top Fortune 500 Companies

AAJ has released a report today finding that by systematically distorting profits and losses, medical malpractice insurers have created phony malpractice insurance “crises” so lawmakers would consider limiting the legal rights of injured patients. This report comes just in time as the U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on an extreme medical liability bill (H.R. 5) this week.

Fact-Check: BP Settlement and Justice for the Gulf Coast

New York Times columnist Joe Nocera has long been a critic of the civil justice system, and his Saturday column on the BP settlement certainly did not come as a surprise – he wrote a similar piece in January saluting BP. But Nocera left out a few key facts that would have better informed his readers about our legal system and the BP process that has been unfolding the last two years.

FDA Must Protect Patients from Defective Generic Drugs

In a letter sent to Public Citizen today the FDA has asked for more time to consider Public Citizen’s petition calling for a regulation change that would force generic manufacturers to update their labels. AAJ sent comments supporting the petition urging the FDA to ensure patients’ rights are protected when they are injured by defective generic drugs.

AAJ President Gary M. Paul stated:

Stanford Law Professor Calls on Congress to Act on Forced Arbitration

Stanford University law and legal history professor Amalia D. Kessler penned an op-ed in today’s New York Times on corporations inserting abusive, take-it-or-leave-it forced arbitration clauses into consumer and employee contracts as a tool to avoid accountability.

Utah Justices Uphold that Courts Play a Key Role in Making Medicine Safe

The Atlantic’s Andrew Cohen highlighted a unanimous ruling from the Utah Supreme Court that allows health care professionals to be held accountable in court for negligently prescribing medicine that injures innocent third parties. Cohen points to a key passage in the ruling:

SCOTUS rules against railroad worker’s rights

Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against plaintiff Gloria Kurns in Kurns v. Railroad Friction Products Crop. Gloria is the widow of retired railroad worker George Corson who died of mesothelioma after years of service for Railroad Friction Products as a welder, machinist and supervisor.

Preview: March’s Trial Magazine

Countdown to Trial is the theme of the March issue of Trial, AAJ’s flagship magazine for attorneys and the legal community. Trial preparation is a detail-filled and intense time for plaintiff attorneys, and this issue of Trial considers a range of issues to consider in getting ready to head to the courtroom, including:

AAJ Calls for Transparency of Medical Industry Payments

AAJ submitted comments today to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) calling for more transparency of payments made to doctors and hospitals by drug and device manufacturers. Financial relationships between drug and device manufacturers and physicians/hospitals can create an untenable conflict of interest and impact negatively on patient safety.

NYT shines light on ALEC and The Big Money Behind State Laws

For years, AAJ has been following the shady backroom dealings of the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  AAJ released a report in May 2010 detailing how ALEC has been ghostwriting the law for big business on behalf of oil, drug, asbestos and insurance interests.

Public Pressure Leads to Carlyle Dropping Forced Arbitration Clause

The American Association for Justice (AAJ) has long fought to prohibit corporations from avoiding accountability by hiding forced arbitration clauses in the fine print of consumer and employee contracts.  When Bloomberg broke the story that Carlyle was attempting to take away investors’ rights by including a forced arbitration clause in its proposed IPO filing, AAJ raised concerns with the SEC and brought awareness to the issue.

The media coverage that followed and the news on Friday that Carlyle dropped the forced arbitration clause shows that now more than ever, "the public cares and public scrutiny matters."