New CPR Report: Protecting the Rights of Victims of Defective Aircraft

by James Goodwin | November 30, 2016

Many Americans would likely be shocked to learn how lax government oversight of the manufacture and design of aircraft, such as airplanes and helicopters, has become. After all, any list of those areas of the economy that would seem to cry out for strict regulation would have to include aircraft production and maintenance, considering that when aircraft are defective or contain defective parts, the consequences are almost inevitably catastrophic and tragic. 

Yet, in a 2004 audit, Congress' nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that severe budget constraints had compelled the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) – the agency charged with overseeing aircraft safety – to outsource to private parties nearly 90 percent of the work it is supposed to do to ensure that aircraft meet applicable safety requirements. In some cases, the private parties taking on these tasks are the manufacturers themselves, raising at least the appearance, if not the reality, of a conflict of interest. 

Fortunately, even when regulatory programs such as the FAA's are at risk of falling short, consumers have long been able to count on another crucial legal institution to look out for their well-being: the courts. Though tort "reformers" refuse to acknowledge it, the civil justice system plays a critical role in promoting safety by reinforcing and complementing regulatory programs that are meant to avert disasters before they occur. The civil justice system, when permitted to function effectively, buttresses regulation by, among other things, ...

The BP Oil Spill: Hollow Regulation Meets Hobbled Law

by Sidney Shapiro | March 11, 2011
This coming April 20 will mark the one-year anniversary of the first day of the BP Oil Spill – a three-month polluta-polluza that eventually became the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the world. That was the night that a long series of failures finally came to a head: failures aboard the Deepwater Horizon by BP and its contractors, failures in the enforcement of regulations intended to prevent such disasters or at least limit the damage from them, ...

Farm Bill 2018: Down Payment on an Effective Conservation Title

Ristino | Jan 17, 2018 | Environmental Policy

A Final 2017 Dose of Op-Eds

Freeman | Dec 28, 2017 | Regulatory Policy

The Off-Switch Is Inside the Fenceline

Farber | Dec 27, 2017 | Energy

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