Archive for June, 2011

United States Supreme Court overrules New Jersey Supreme Court

By Edward Slaughter, Jr.

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Insurance companies and corporations and the politicians who support their interests have yet another victory to celebrate. The United States Supreme Court, certainly the most reactionary Supreme Court since before Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency, has again sided with corporations to the detriment of the common man or woman.

In its decision of June 27, 2011, in the case of J. McIntyre Machinery Ltd., v. Nicastro, the United States Supreme Court struck down a decision of the New Jersey Supreme Court and ruled that a New Jersey worker who lost several fingers at work while operating a machine made in England by a British company could not sue that company in New Jersey courts because the manufacturer had not “purposefully” availed itself of the privilege of conducting business in New Jersey.

The New Jersey Court had ruled that “fairness and foreseeability” should allow suit in New Jersey. The United States Supreme Court ruled that “fairness and foreseeability” do not count even though the manufacturer had targeted every one of the fifty states as places that it wanted to sell its machines for profit.

The New Jersey Supreme Court had ruled that globalization of the world economy has removed national boundaries as barriers to trade. Thus, if a person was hurt in New Jersey, the New Jersey Supreme Court had ruled that the injured person may use New Jersey courts to sue a foreign manufacturer who has built a dangerous machine.

In a day when almost everything is made in China, does the United States Supreme Court want the ordinary citizen to have no rights against foreign manufacturers? Perhaps so.

McDonald’s Coffee Case

By Edward Slaughter, Jr.

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Insurance companies and corporations have plenty of money. They constantly lobby legislators and others who make our laws to restrict access to the legal system for ordinary people who suffer injuries. One of the cases they love to point to is the McDonald’s Coffee Case.

On Monday, June 27, 2010 at  9:00 p.m., HBO will broadcast a documentary about the McDonald’s coffee case in which it will tell us all what that case was really about. We encourage you to watch that program.

Rules, regulations and statutes are enacted regularly that the insurance companies and corporations want. Their interest is not that of the common person. Jurors are people just like you and are not stupid. They don’t award people money without good reason.

Watch this program and perhaps it will give you a new perspective.