Earlier this week the American Association for Justice (AAJ) released a new report that took aim at the legal practices of some of the nation’s biggest industry proponents of so-called legal “reform.” Our Chicago personal injury attorneys are acutely aware of the hypocrisy that is unfortunately present within many of the country’ largest advocacy groups, particularly those that are working to take legal rights away from everyday community members. This latest reported, entitled “U.S. Chamber’s Hypocrisy Exposed: Do As I Say, Not As I Do” explored the aggressive litigation efforts of the organization’s Institute for Legal Reform corporate board members.
One easy way to identify if a proponent of a certain position is advocating honestly is to examine their conduct instead of their rhetoric. It is one thing to claim vocally that certain legal rights need to be taken away from community members, it is another thing to stop enjoying those legal rights yourself. This new AAJ study explores the way that many corporate members of the Chamber’s legal reform arm have no problem utilizing the justice system to the max for their own gain against competitors and customers. This at the same time that they actively fight to take away access to that same civil justice system for regular members of the community.
For example, one corporation highlighted in the report, Honeywell International, regularly files suit against competitors in court for what it deems their misconduct. They have a legal right to do so. However, at the same time they are working to enact legal chances so that others cannot bring them to court for their own misdeeds-such as providing defective body armor to police officers and downplaying the danger of asbestos. As the report explained, so many of these companies support the idea of “one rule for them, one rule for us.” Them being regular community members, like Illinois medical malpractice victims, and Us being already powerful businesses. The current President of the Chamber has himself admitted that “litigation is one of our most powerful tools for making sure that federal agencies follow the law and are held accountable.”
Our Illinois medical malpractice lawyers know that the justice system already places a wide range of obstacles in the way of genuine victims of medical errors. It is not easy or quick for these victims to receive compensation for their losses or to hold those who perpetrated the Illinois medical error accountable for their conduct. It is appalling that big interests would actively seek to curtail their rights even further. These corporate entities own use of the justice system makes clear that they understand the way that the system works to provide fairness and accountability among societal interactions. However, these interests are blinded by their dedication to making a buck and they are more than willing to take away access to the system for others so long as it increases their profit margin. This conduct should not be tolerated. All fair-minded advocates need to stand up and expose this hypocrisy for what it is.
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