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Consequences of Tort Reforms: How Minimizing Negligence Penalties for Defective Products Creates Too-Big-to-Care Corporations

September 25, 2015  ·  By HM&M

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There was a time when corporations cared about their products and the effect they had on the general population. It was a time when companies worked hard to prevent the distribution of defective products; when the system failed and a defect did make its way to the public, the issue was quickly rectified. In some ways, it is an indication of just how much values have changed over the years, but it is an even stronger indication of how the decisions made by lawmakers, legislators, and courts have diminished the sense of accountability for large corporations.

Punitive Damages and Corporate Accountability

Punitive damages and corporate accountability go hand-in-hand because, when a corporation has the fear of being hit with damages above and beyond just the typical damages, they are less likely to gamble with the lives of their consumers. But punitive damages have become nearly non-existent, with some states placing caps on the amounts and others doing away with them altogether. As a result, corporations have begun to weigh the cost of continuing to produce defective products against the cost of correcting the problem or pulling the product altogether.

Johnson & Johnson, the makers of everything from baby products to pharmaceutical drugs, is one of the clearest examples of such gross negligence. They have repeatedly faced litigation for their defective products and sketchy practices, but the suits they have faced come nowhere near enough to make them stop. Because, for a company that makes billions of dollars each year, a few million in damages is not enough of an incentive to change the way they do business.

The blame for this issue rests with our lawmakers and legislators. Their relationships with big corporations have led to tort reforms that lessen the blow to corporations that are killing and injuring consumers with their defective drugs and products. Some legislators want to loosen the reins even more, which will only further excuse corporations from accountability. But we think the public has suffered enough.

Legislators and lawmakers need to stop sheltering corporations and start protecting the people they were elected to protect. But before that can happen, the general public needs to educate themselves on what is going on behind the curtain, and they need to start voicing their outrage to Senate and Congress members. It is time to enforce accountability for large corporations.

Seek Legal Representation for Your Defective Products Claim

If a defective product has injured you or someone you love, seek legal representation as soon as possible. A skilled personal injury attorney can protect your rights, help hold the corporation responsible accountable for the death or injury they caused, and they can help you receive the compensation you deserve.


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