Chopping off plaintiffs’ rights

This New York Times editorial on a Republican House bill limiting plaintiffs’ lawsuits over injuries caused by asbestos points up that the Republican Party, in thrall to corporate money, will continue to do corporations’ bidding and try to truncate lawsuits by people who have been injured by products:

Republicans rammed a bill through the House Judiciary Committee last month that would make it harder for plaintiffs injured by asbestos to get fair compensation. The bill is supposedly designed to root out fraud and abuse, but there is no persuasive evidence of any significant fraud or abuse.

If you’ve been paying attention, you know it isn’t just asbestos; it’s everything and everywhere. If the Republicans (and their Supreme Court majority) have their way, i.e., the corporate way, we individuals could no longer put together lawsuits for any corporate malfeasance. They are chopping away at our rights one product at a time, one lousy employment deal at a time, one corporation (I’m thinking of WalMart) at a time.

How do we wake the sleeper citizens in states that elect these people to Congress? How do we tell them that they they keep voting for people who intend to let them starve and die so that corporations may flourish?

I don’t know. Thomas Frank asked that question in his brilliant book, “What’s The Matter With Kansas?” He detailed how it happened that the people of Kansas came to vote against their own best interests, but couldn’t tell us what to do about it.

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