Update: A Judicial Victory Against Chrysler For Public Safety, Accountability & Transparency
A mother (and lawyer) who lost two daughters in a tragic crash and went on to be an effective safety advocate has written us as follows about this court decision:“This is huge! For so long now, industry has used the settlement/confidentiality to cover up for all types of corporate crimes. I hope the circuit court’s decision isn’t appealed. From my own personal experience both at trial, and in the legislative process, industry always argues, as they did in our case, that our tragedy was an isolated case, passing the ball off to safety advocates to find cases. Not many have the resources or attorneys that can withstand the war of attrition that exists in lawsuits against corporate defendants. Most settle, and their records are sealed. This will certainly give the corporate defendants pause in their legal tactics.”
See latest article about Ms. Cally Houck’s story, her achievements, and efforts that continue to this day. Seehttp://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-cally-houck-rental-car-law-20151221-story.html
The article on the Judicial Victory that Ms. Houck was commenting on in Corporate Crime Reporter follows:
“Corporation conceals deadly defect. Someone dies, and their family sues. Corporation settles quietly. Court records are sealed. Nobody finds out.
More people are hurt. More people sue. More settlements are reached. More records are sealed.
“This is how GM was able to hide an ignition switch defect that killed over a hundred people for more than a decade,” says Jennifer Bennett, an attorney with Public Justice in Oakland, California. “It’s how Remington concealed evidence that its most popular rifle can fire without anyone pulling the trigger.”
But because of a Ninth Circuit decision handed down in Velasco v. Chrysler, “it is now much harder for corporations to enlist courts in keeping their secrets,” Bennett says.”
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