Larry Beinhart: Class Warfare III — Losing Your Right to Fight Back
The courts are a way to make bad behavior — injurious, even murderous, acts — cost enough to make a corporation stop.
Without lawsuits we wouldn’t know that tobacco companies knew that cigarettes caused cancer even while they advertised them as healthy; that Firestone tires, combined with Ford SUVs, made them roll over; that the Catholic Church harbored and protected hundreds of pedophile priests; that Vioxx damaged people’s hearts and killed them.
Big business hates lawsuits. They hate being made accountable. They hate having to pay. So what can they do about it?
They hire PR companies to spread stories — frequently less than complete, often completely false — about frivolous lawsuits. They spend hundreds of millions of dollars promoting those tales. At the same time, almost every settlement contains a non-disclosure agreement. The offenders are free to trumpet their tales far and wide. The victims must stay silent.