AAJ Calls on Congress to Restore Consumer Rights Undone by Midnight Regulations

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AAJ Calls on Congress to Restore Consumer Rights Undone by Midnight Regulations 

For Immediate Release: February 4, 2009

Contact: Jennifer Fuson, Ray DeLorenzi
202.965.3500, ext. 8369

AAJ Calls on Congress to Restore Consumer Rights Undone by Midnight Regulations

Civil Justice Essential to Hold Wrongdoers Accountable

Washington, DC— The Bush administration tried to eliminate consumers' right to civil justice in some last minute regulations, and proposed even broader restrictions to civil justice in proposed regulations, according to the American Association for Justice (AAJ).  As pending regulations with anti-consumer language are under review by the Obama administration, AAJ calls on Congress to help restore consumers' access to the courts to hold wrongdoers accountable.

"In a last minute act, the Bush administration tried to restrict consumers’ access to civil justice after they have been injured, in some cases by auto accidents and even railroad accidents involving hazard materials,” said Gerie Voss, Director of Regulatory Affairs for AAJ.  “We only need to remember all the victims in Minot, North Dakota, that suffered severe chemical burns and permanent eye injuries after an ammonia spill polluted the town’s air.  Victims like these should be allowed to seek justice for their injuries,” added Voss.

AAJ supports Congressman Nadler’s legislation addressing midnight regulations that could restore consumers’ access to civil justice that Bush administration regulations tried to eliminate.

"We only need to look at the recent peanut butter salmonella outbreak as evidence of bad actors,” added Voss.  “The fact that the peanut butter processor knowingly put a health hazard on store shelves shows why the threat of civil action needs to go hand-in-hand with strong government oversight to fully protect consumers.”

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As the world's largest trial bar, the American Association for Justice (formerly known as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America) works to make sure people have a fair chance to receive justice through the legal system when they are injured by the negligence or misconduct of others—even when it means taking on the most powerful corporations. Visit http://www.justice.org/newsroom.

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