Much of today’s political discussion primarily involves social issues. I doubt that many people ever think very much about a critical category of laws that protect all Americans every single day. For those who fall in that category, I will attempt to explain why certain laws, as well as the courts, are so important. Lawyers at Beasley Allen have litigated a large number of product liability cases over the years. During that time, we have found that product liability litigation has helped and protected millions of people in the U.S. Most folks don’t think much about the courts until they have a real need for justice.
We have learned in our practice that all too many manufacturers will cut corners on safety and will make profits their main priority. Cutting corners on safety by manufacturers costs innocent lives. Many more companies would cut corners on safety if the product liability laws, and our ability to seek justice by enforcing those laws and judicial precedents in the courts, did not exist.
The judicial system establishes an equilibrium of sorts because it protects the assumptions we all make in our everyday lives – that the products we use are safe and will work as we intend them to. We rarely think about these assumptions because to think otherwise would be too scary to consider. Nobody should ever expect a product to be defective and to fail as a result.
Unfortunately, product liability law, and the right to a trial by jury, have been under attack for years and those attacks continue today. In fact, the attacks have greatly intensified. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, oftentimes mistaken by the public as a branch of government instead of the corporate special interest group that it really is, constantly seeks to erode products liability law and the right to a trial by jury. The Chamber is not concerned with safety. Instead, its goal is to protect huge companies and to increase corporate profits. On almost a daily basis, lawyers in our firm see the cost of those efforts – in money, pain and many times the loss of human life. Our lawyers see this pain and heartbreak when representing clients. More often than not, the results of corporations putting profits over safety can be catastrophic.
In our world of global commerce and trade, one defectively designed product can touch thousands – if not millions – of lives. Most of the time, recalls and corrective action can stop defects in new products and, on occasion, can catch older defective products before they injure or kill consumers. However, we find instances where products have slipped through the cracks and folks are hurt far too often. As a result, the best defense against product liability heartbreak is prevention by way of product liability law and enforcement of those laws in court. Of course, this hinges on a strong, fair and independent judicial system.
The American people should be entitled to assume the products they use are safe. We shouldn’t have to be concerned about the safety of the water we drink, the food we eat, the automobiles we drive, the machines we operate at work, the planes we fly in, air we breathe, the consumer products we use, and the various safety devices we expect to protect us. We must never take those safety assumptions, and the laws that allow us to make the assumptions, for granted. It’s critically important to continue our fight to keep our courts independent, fair and open for all of our citizens.
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