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Loophole In The Courts Leaves Dangerous Products on the Market

June 16, 2009  ·  By HM&M


Court secrecy is a dangerous practice that prevents people from finding out about unsafe products. As a personal injury lawyer in Chicago I find the practice of document sealing irresponsible. Consider the following example of such irresponsibility.

The American Association for Justice reports (6/4), “Over the past year, Bausch & Lomb has quietly settled over 600 contact solution lawsuits, with more cases still pending”. The contact solution was tied to instances of fungus infections and blinding in many patients that used the product.

As part of the settlement agreement, Bausch & Lomb forced all court documents in the case to remain sealed. This keeps vital information including internal investigations into the cause of the infections from contact users and doctors. Details of outdated company testing procedures, which are widely used by other contact solution manufacturers are also included within the sealed documents.

The Sunshine Litigation Act currently facing Congress would give judges “additional discretion to limit secrecy agreements that keep hidden important and life saving information from the public” and would “close the loophole in our courts” to ensure that such information is disclosed.

June 16, 2009

Massey Ruling Said to Highlight Problems With Judicial Elections

The Wall Street Journal (6/10, Koppel) reports, “The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision this week calling for judges” to recuse themselves from “cases involving big political donors confronts the growing role of money in the U.S. judicial system.” The Journal adds, “Political donations to judicial candidates at the highest state courts have soared in recent years,... Read More

June 16, 2009

EPA: Recycled Rubber May Not Be Safe For Playgrounds

The USA Today (6/22, Szabo) reports, “There's a growing debate about the safety of the recycled rubber chips used to cushion falls on many children's playgrounds.” The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved rubber play surfaces since 1991, both to protect children from head injuries and to prevent tires from ending up in landfills. However,... Read More

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