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AAJ 10 articles

18-wheeler rollover in Alabama claimed to have been caused by shifts in load

In Clanton, Ala., an 18-wheeler hauling paper overturned Tuesday morning on Highway 22. The wreck is believed to be due to shifting loads of paper being carried on the big rig. According to Clanton Police Chief Brian Stillwell, Fourth Avenue North, also known as Highway 22, was shut down for clean-up before reopening about noon the same day. While traveling east, the truck struck a power pole during the accident, which contributed to the delay since the truck could not be properly righted until the electricity hazard was properly addressed by professionals. No injuries were reported as a result of the ... Read More

New website monitors how corporations, lobbyists are eroding our Constitutional rights

Alarmed by the corporate lobby’s aggressive efforts to undermine the U.S. civil justice system, the American Association for Justice (AAJ) has launched a new website and blog called Take Justice Back. The aim of the website is to keep U.S. citizens informed about how their rights and protections, guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, are being eroded by powerful corporations and lobbying groups trying to escape accountability. Armed with hundreds of millions of dollars, these corporate interests have infiltrated Congress and are using their financial might “scheming up ways to avoid accountability when they hurt someone,” the AAJ says. The “Tort ... Read More

AAJ warns pending legislation will delay asbestos victim claims

The American Association for Justice (AAJ) says legislation pending in the U.S. House of Representatives could make it harder for asbestos victims to find justice by delaying claims and helping asbestos manufacturers and other companies avoid liability. According to the legislation, H.R. 982, known as the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act of 2013, would “amend title 11 of the United States Code to require the public disclosure by trusts established under section 524(g) of such title, of quarterly reports that contain detailed information regarding the receipt and disposition of claims for injuries based on exposure to asbestos; and for ... Read More

Commercial trucking companies ignore safety violations, endanger lives

An analysis of government data conducted by the American Association for Justice (AAJ) reveals that more than 28,000 motor carrier companies, representing upwards of 200,000 trucks, currently operate on American roads and interstates despite being in violation of federal safety laws. The presence of so many non-complying big trucks on our roads unfairly places millions of people, including truck drivers, at risk for serious personal injury and death on a daily basis. Defective brakes, bad tires, loads dangerously exceeding legal weight limits, unqualified drivers, and drivers with drug or alcohol addictions are some of the most common violations trucking companies, ... Read More

Judge awards plaintiffs $2.6 million in first Chinese drywall trial

In the first of a series of bellwether trials involving toxic Chinese drywall, U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon ruled last week that Taishan Gypsum Co. must pay $2.6 million to repair seven damaged Virginia homes and replace their damaged contents. The case, which was tried in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, New Orleans, will help determine the scope and outcome of pending and future litigation involving homes ruined by the drywall. Thousands of homeowners throughout the U.S. but mostly in Florida and other Southern states allege that the drywall installed throughout their homes, imported from China during the ... Read More

Trials to proceed against unresponsive Chinese drywall company

Chinese drywall manufacturer Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd., the company accused of producing and then exporting toxic, sulfuric wallboard to the United States, was found to be in default during a preliminary trial in New Orleans after it failed to respond to a lawsuit filed by an Alabama home builder in June. The Mobile-based Mitchell Company, a builder of residential and commercial properties, alleges it used Taishan’s toxic drywall extensively in its homes. The company filed a motion earlier this month asking the court for a default judgment against the company. U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon told the Mitchell Company that ... Read More

Seat belts on commercial buses, a new NHTSA regulation

Passenger seat belts will soon be a requirement on commercial buses – a measure that the National Transportation Safety Board has long advocated but didn’t have the authority to enforce. Yesterday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which has the legal authority to establish transportation safety standards, told Congress that it will require commercial motor coaches to have safety belts for their passengers. The new safety requirement comes after a series of fatal bus crashes that received national publicity. After analyzing the events surrounding a 2008 Utah bus rollover in which nine people died and 43 were injured, the NTSB ... Read More

Poll finds American voters oppose forced arbitration in contracts

“Americans are sick and tired of a system that so strongly favors big corporations over consumers and … robs them of their constitutional right to their day in court,” Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) said in a statement concerning the proposed Arbitration Fairness Act. The act seeks to preserve our constitutionally guaranteed right to a jury trial should we ever need to settle a grievance in court with a company or an employer. These days, according to the American Association for Justice, “just by taking a job or buying a product or service, consumers and employees are forced to give up ... Read More

Preemption language must be removed from railroad regulations

The American Association for Justice is calling for a review of Bush administration regulations that it believes compromise the safety and rights of consumers who are injured in railroad accidents. The request was prompted by the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee’s nomination hearing of Joseph Szabo as the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) new administrator. Though Szabo’s nomination is not controversial, many lawmakers in the Democrat-controlled Congress believe the regulations and policies put forth by the previous administration favor big business at an enormous expense to the consumer. Preemption is the problem. Preemption is the legal premise that federal law ... Read More

Public urgently needs better bus and trucking regulations

After analyzing the events surrounding a 2008 Utah bus rollover in which nine people died and 43 were injured, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded that two situations fundamentally contributed to the deadly accident: driver fatigue and the lack of federal regulations to protect bus passengers. The American Association of Justice (AAJ) responded to the report by calling for a close review – and a possible revision – of federal transportation safety regulations proposed during the Bush Administration and currently pending. The AAJ released a statement saying that it supports opening “new rulemaking proceedings to enhance commercial transportation safety ... Read More