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Practice Area ; Consumers' Rights

Will Congress Give Abusive Nursing Homes a ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ Card?

A group of lawmakers wants to hand the nursing home industry a get-out-of-jail free card, in the form of HR 1215. The bill, which is deceptively titled the “Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017,” would cap the amount of “non-economic” damages a victim could obtain from a nursing home in a lawsuit at just $250,000 per case, no matter how many victims were hurt or how many people (or corporations) are responsible.

Taking on Congress to Preserve Class Actions

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed H.R. 985, the so-called “Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act.” This sweeping legislation would make it virtually impossible to bring a class action lawsuit, effectively locking the courthouse doors to millions of Americans. The final vote in the House represented a very narrow victory (220 – 201), setting the stage for a real battle in the United States Senate.

Challenging a Federal Court Decision Shutting the Courthouse Door on Consumers, Because Privacy Invasion Supposedly Wasn’t an “Injury”

In a case called Romero v. Department Stores National Bank, for example, a consumer received literally hundreds of robocalls from the banks that issue Macy’s-branded credit cards, despite the fact that she repeatedly told them to stop calling her. The consumer sued the banks for violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act—a statute that prohibits unwanted robocalls to cell phones. But the trial court held that the consumer lacked standing to bring her lawsuit.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Seeks to Limit Court Secrecy

The federal government says that court secrecy is preventing it from protecting consumers. To stop that, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued guidance that urges all judges, plaintiffs, defendants, and lawyers, as well as parties wishing to submit amicus briefs, to ensure that every protective and secrecy order and agreement “specifically allows for disclosure” to the “CPSC and other government public health and safety agencies.”