Showing 75 results
Michael C. Duff | May 21, 2020
A recent, interesting lawsuit filed against McDonald's, in Cook County, Illinois, suffers from few of the deficiencies that I have identified in prior postings about public nuisance cases related to COVID-19. The named employee-plaintiffs allege "negligence" in what might look at first blush like a drop-dead workers' compensation case. This time, however, there is a wrinkle.
Katie Tracy | May 19, 2020
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Whistleblower Protection Program (WPP) plays a vital role in protecting workers from employers who cut corners on safety or who violate other federal laws: It protects those workers who report such abuses from retaliation, making it harder for employers to get away with breaking the law. Or at least that's how it's supposed to work. The 23 separate federal statutes the program encompasses cover a wide range of corporate wrongdoing, including violations of clean air and drinking water standards, food safety standards, workplace health and safety standards, and much more. If an employer retaliates against an employee for taking any of the actions covered by these laws, the employee may file a retaliation complaint with OSHA for investigation.
Darya Minovi | May 18, 2020
On May 26, CPR and our advocacy partners are hosting a virtual town hall event to discuss the latest research and insights on air and water pollution from industrial livestock operations and their impact on public health and the environment in the Delmarva region.
Michael C. Duff | May 14, 2020
Listening in on Tuesday's Senate Hearing on Corporate Liability During the Coronavirus Pandemic, I was especially pleased to hear workers' compensation immunity discussed. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island specifically asked whether blanket corporate immunity would constitute subsidization of workers' compensation insurers. Witness Professor David Vladeck of Georgetown University Law Center responded that it very well could if workers' compensation were not carved out of the bill. I did not hear anyone contend during the hearing that workers' compensation could not be part of an immunity blanket, which is food for thought.
Daniel Farber | May 13, 2020
Sen. Mitch McConnell is demanding that any future coronavirus relief law provide a litigation shield for businesses, and other conservative and business interests have made similar proposals. So far, the supporters of these proposals have engaged in some dramatic handwaving but haven't begun to make a reasoned argument in support of a litigation shield.
James Goodwin | May 12, 2020
Yesterday, a group of 20 Center for Progressive Reform Board Members, Member Scholars, and staff joined a letter to House and Senate leaders calling on them to reject efforts to attach to future COVID-19 pandemic-related legislation provisions that would interfere with the ability of workers, consumers, and members of their families to hold businesses accountable when their unreasonably dangerous actions have caused workers or consumers to contract the virus. Instead, as the letter urges, lawmakers should ensure that our courthouse doors remain open to all Americans to pursue any meritorious civil justice claims for injuries they suffer arising from companies' failure to guard against the spread of the coronavirus.
Matthew Freeman | May 7, 2020
In a recent op-ed in the Waco Tribune-Herald, CPR Board Member Thomas McGarity lays bare the real cost of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's efforts to extend a liability shield over businesses that endanger employees or customers by failing to take adequate precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Such a shield, he writes, would "destroy a powerful incentive for companies to protect their workers, their consumers, and their neighbors from this invisible killer."
Michael C. Duff | May 6, 2020
In what for me is an ominous development, the Smithfield Foods public nuisance case, about which I blogged earlier, has been summarily denied by a Missouri federal district court and the case has been dismissed. The decision took all of twelve days. In a nutshell, the court accepted the primary jurisdiction arguments that I have previously discussed but will not repeat here. Sometimes cases are illustrative of clear legal principles. This, for me, is not one of those cases. Sometimes cases set "mood points." And I fear that is the situation here. I have great concern about the prospect for an unreflective, anti-liability fervor enveloping the Great Reopening, though this decision did not directly reach questions of liability that could impact state workers' compensation or tort law.
Michael C. Duff | May 5, 2020
As Senate Republicans and corporations continue to lobby for the broadest possible "liability shields" in connection with the Great Reopening, a novel lawsuit framed in terms of public nuisance theory is being litigated in a Missouri federal court.