Holly Kelly Ennis
Legislature Quickly Stripping Away Civil Rights In Favor Of Corporate Greed
Yesterday, the House of Representatives made it clear that it would rather shield powerful corporations from being held accountable for scamming, injuring, and discriminating against Americans, than protect our right to pursue justice. It is offensive that Congress would go so far to protect corporations that it would eliminate Americans’ ability to join together to hold negligent corporations liable in court.
In a concerted action to take advantage of a Republican controlled Congress and a Country still reeling from the ugly divisive elections, greedy corporation have pushed for legislation to increase their profits and grossly hamper the rights of injured citizens. The House deceitfully rushed H.R. 985 through Congress without a hearing and without input from legal experts or people who would be impacted by the bill – hoping that nobody would notice their ill-conceived plan to deprive Americans of their rights. This one-sided legislation only advances the interests of corporations that have killed and cheated Americans.
Hiding under the "guise" of "Tort Reform" this new bill and other related legislation seeks to limit injured parties' access to the Courts. Tort lawsuits serve a far greater purpose than simply compensating an injured party: These lawsuits hold wrongdoers accountable in ways to prevent future violations. The judiciary is the independent branch of government entrusted to protect the rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and the Legislature is trying to take control away from local judges and juries. Such rights should not be legislated away by a Legislature beholden to wealthy corporate donors and lobbyists who seek legislation for their own self-serving, pocket-lining interests.
Persons injured by medical devices and pharmaceuticals are the most at risk.H.R. 985 is a blatant attempt to remove the public's oversight of corporations and will allow dangerous devices and drugs to remain on the market without regard to public safety. A copy of the H.R. 985 can be found here in its entirety. https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/985 We all must act quickly and unitedly to demand the Senate not take away our legal rights and vote No on H.R. 985 and other related legislation.
To make matters worse for public safety, President Trump's leading choice to head the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is Scott Gottlieb, the drug industry's clearly preferred choice. Gottlieb was a former partner with NEA Venture, the venture capital firm that funded Conceptus (manufacturer of Essure) and other controversial medical devices. He represents a clear danger to public safety by seeking to speed up the agency's approval process of prescription drugs, particularly at a time where more consideration is necessary as dangerous drugs and devices are being hurried to market.
Americans cannot afford to stand by and watch their rights be stripped away for the profits of corporations and pharmaceutical companies. We must stand together and hold politicians accountable for undermining our safety and access to Courts in favor of big business. Our Legislators are accountable to each of us, the people who elected them. It is not too late to stop these bills from passing in the Senate and becoming law. Contact your Senators today and demand they vote NO on H.R. 985 and its related legislation.