The U.S. Supreme Court’s Assault on Consumers

Personal Injury Attorney

“You get for what you pay for.” This saying has been used to mean that if you buy cheap, you should expect to receive cheap goods in return. I have brushed off the saying to mean that big business, in the course of spending billions and billions of dollars on public relations campaigns, lobbying and political contributions, have directly and indirectly purchased access to all of the major courts in the United States, including the U.S. Supreme Court. Based on decisions rendered by the pro-business Court, big business has gotten what it paid for.

Decisions from the Supreme Court affect consumers and personal injury victims alike. Many of these decisions contradict existing common law and other legal principles that were originally designed to protect consumers and individuals from aggressive business tactics and other tortious behavior. Big business is forever cooking up ways to increase profits at the expense of consumers. Some such tactics include usurious interest rates, arbitration clauses that deprive consumers of the right to a jury trial, and “tort reform” provisions that minimize the damages recoverable by individuals when they are injured by the negligent acts of others.

A new Supreme Court decision, Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid, is a pro-business decision aimed at negating protections that permitted union organizers to walk onto farm fields in order to speak to farmworkers. The Court in depriving unions of access to agricultural worksites is working on behalf of business interests that seek to bust unions and prevent workers from lawfully organizing in order to better their work conditions and pay. But this radical decision goes well beyond union busting.

According to one author, the decision so radically reshapes “the Court’s approach to property rights that some of the most basic state and federal health and safety code laws could fall.” For example, if corporate farm operations can lawfully kick union organizers off of their property “it could also mean that restaurants have a constitutional right to keep health inspectors from entering their kitchens, or that factory owners can prohibit the government from inspecting their machines to make sure those machines are safe to operate.”

Businesses historically make calculated gambles to maximize profit even when their business activities result in injury or death to American citizens. This outrageous choice of profits over people is seen time and time again in the culture of secrecy at hospitals, defective products that make it to market and falsified medical studies that support the use of drugs use in unsafe or excessive ways.

For personal injury lawyers, the battle over tort reform provisions that limit damages or fees and create other impediments that prevent personal injury victims from obtaining a recovery is analogous. These tort reform provisions were enacted for one purpose: to increase corporate profits at the expense of personal injury victims. To learn whether damages caps will affect you, contact an experienced personal injury attorney today.  If you are the victim of an accident resulting in serious personal injuries, you should contact a personal injury attorney, like the office of Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., L.P.A. to determine your rights.