On Tuesday the American Association for Justice (AAJ) launched Take Justice Back, a campaign to teach Americans why they should care about protecting the civil justice system. According to the Take Justice Back website, there are four main purposes of the Take Justice Back campaign. These include; educating people on how their rights are threatened, motivating Americans by sharing stories of others denied justice, engaging consumers via social media, and empowering activism by creating a place where people can share information, send letters to Congress, sign petitions, and link to their own blogs.
Take Justice Back aims to protect consumers from corporations who have lobbied to avoid liability by using phrases like “tort reform” and “frivolous lawsuits.” Tort reform refers to proposed changes in the common law civil justice systems that aim to reduce tort litigation or damages. Frivolous lawsuits refer to corporate allegations that consumers are making up injuries to try and win large sums of money. There are several corporate front groups behind these efforts. These groups include the Institute for Legal Reform, the American Legislative Exchange Council, the American Tort Reform Association, the Civil Justice Reform Group, and the Searle Civil Justice Institute. To learn more about these groups, and the ways that they use paperwork, money, and political power to prevent innocent consumers from fighting back against negligent corporations please click here.
The Take Justice Back website allows consumers to search their state to find out if there is a cap on the damages awarded in medical malpractice cases. While many states do place these caps, fortunately for Illinois residents, there is not a cap. The Illinois Supreme Court Ruled in 2010 that such caps on noneconomic damages violate the Illinois State Constitution. One of the most important functions of the Take Justice Back website is a section that educates the American consumer on the fictions that powerful politically connected corporate backed groups try to pass off as facts.