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Public Justice

U.S. Supreme Court Affirms Privacy Rights in ‘Spokeo’ Decision

Corporations took a shot at gutting America’s privacy laws, and they missed. The U.S. Supreme has found that consumers can bring claims for statutory damages (where Congress says that if a corporation breaks some law, it must pay a fixed sum, even if the claims are hard to prove), even if the consumer has not lost money or suffered a personal injury. In doing so, they rejected several arguments from corporate America that would have closed the courthouse doors to consumers.

Eighth Circuit Tells Employer It Can’t Change Rules of the Game Halfway Through

Richard Messina signed a contract to work for two years as Vice President of Sales for North Central Distributing, a company that sells home décor and furniture under the name Yosemite Home Decor. When Yosemite fired him after six months, Mr. Messina filed a lawsuit for wrongful termination in Minnesota state court. But when the district court in Minnesota denied its transfer motion—voila! New rule! Yosemite announced for the first time that Mr. Messina had also signed an arbitration agreement and that the case actually could not continue in court at all and had to be decided by a private arbitrator instead.

A Year of Remarkable Voices & Victories

2015 was a banner year for Public Justice’s work to create real change in the lives of real people and communities throughout the country. The cases we took on – and the cases we won – will have positive, far-reaching consequences for years, and even decades, to come.

Justice for Rafael: An Update

When I met Maria Escamilla at her home in Laredo, Texas last year, one of the first things she said to me was, “I’ve been waiting so long.” In 2009, her son had died while in police custody at the Webb County Jail in Texas. More than 6 years later, no one had been held accountable. But on April 12, the Fifth Circuit ruled that charges against the jailers responsible for caring for Mr. Solis could move forward. At long last, those responsible for Rafael’s death can finally be held accountable.

A New Legal Frontier in the Fight Against Fracking

This morning, ‘Newsweek’ noted that our lawsuit taking on oil and gas fracking in Oklahoma is “the first U.S. lawsuit ever filed to prevent earthquakes.” We’ve added a fourth company – SandRidge – to the list of those we’re taking to court in order to stop the destruction fracking is causing in America’s heartland.

Tyson Foods Loses Bid to Reverse Worker Class Action in U.S. Supreme Court

And now for some rare but good news on the class action front from the U.S. Supreme Court:

For months now, Supreme Court watchers have been waiting with bated breath to see whether food industry giant Tyson Foods, Inc. would succeed in its bid to reverse a $5.8 million judgment in favor of Iowa meat processing employees who were not paid for their time “donning and doffing” protective equipment.

Well guess what? Tyson Foods lost.

Buried in the Fine Print: A Special Investigative Report on Arbitration

Earlier this month, Al Jazeera America aired ‘Buried in the Fine Print,’ a special investigative report on the dangers of arbitration. The program, which also features our executive director, showcases just a few example of arbitration’s impact on consumers, workers and others. We’re excited to…