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Award for Injured Persons Failed by the Justice System – Maybe THAT’S YOU!

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Washington, DCUnfortunately, the justice system is not perfect and occasionally it fails people or communities struggling to right a wrong and then find their pursuit of justice impeded or even denied through no fault of their own.

Three years ago, Public Justice established the Illuminating Justice Award to recognize and provide financial compensation to people who were injured and should have been made whole through the justice system but failed to get what they rightfully deserved.

The 2015 Illuminating Injustice Award was given to Rosa Moreno, a Mexican worker who was catastrophically injured on the job but was denied compensation because of a technicality.

“I think it (the “Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act” ) would be disastrous,” says Bland. “It is just an extremely radical bill."

Rosa was working the overnight shift in Reynosa, Mexico at the HG Electronics factory in February, 2011.

Around 2 o’clock in the morning the foreman moved Rosa over to machine #19 -- a very heavy, difficult to operate machine that cut and ripped metal that no one liked to work on. As she reached forward to position the metal in the machine it suddenly malfunctioned. Both hands and arms from the forearm down were crushed and had to be amputated.

She would never be able to work there again – or anywhere for that matter. The company, headquartered in the US, offered Rosa $14,400 or 75 percent of her wages for two years as compensation.

Rosa found a Texas lawyer who offered to help her sue the company in the US but the judge ruled the company had not been served with the proper notice and her lawsuit was dismissed.

After seeing an editorial in the Guardian newspaper about Rosa’s story Public Justice made Rosa the 2015 Illuminating Injustice Award recipient.

In 2014, Public Justice’s Illuminating Injustice Award was given to a woman injured by a pharmaceutical who was denied her day in court because of the Federal Food and Drug Act’s pre-emption clause despite clear evidence her injury was the result of a dangerous drug.

For 35 years Public Justice has offered advocacy and legal assistance to people and communities where there are important public issues at stake, or there are barriers to justice, or there is new ground to be broken.

“We are trying to do cases where we are going to get a precedent that will affect a large number of people,” says Public Justice Executive Director, Paul Bland. “We take cases where we will be able to aggregate a large number of people through some procedural means or draw publicity to an issue that will change systems or impact broader practices.”

At or near the top of the list for Public Justice at the moment is the “Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act” which is making its way through the legislative system in Washington – a bill that should it pass through the senate and be signed into law by President Trump, would severely restrict class actions as a remedy for consumers who are financially harmed. It could affect everything from pay equity cases to victims of Ponzi schemes.

“I think it would be disastrous,” says Bland. “It is just an extremely radical bill.

“Under the bill securities class actions would largely disappear. Think about what that would mean. If it became dramatically easier to commit securities fraud then our stock market could become substantially vulnerable and weaker.”

This is the second time the “Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act” bill has been put forward by Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte. He argues that class actions benefit lawyers more than plaintiffs.

However, study of some 400 class action suits by the Consumer Financial Protection Board (CFPB) found that on average attorneys received 15 percent of the money and most of the compensation went to plaintiffs.

“They found that after attorney’s fees consumers had received several billions of dollars of cash compensation, plus injunctive relief and people had their credit scores repaired and that sort of thing,” says Bland.

“The anti-class action bill (should it get through the Senate and be signed by President Trump) will make it dramatically harder for plaintiffs in a case. The radical nature of the bill makes me think it won’t happen but I don’t want to take for granted that it can’t happen.”

The deadline for nominations for the Illuminating Justice Award is March 31, 2017. Anyone can be nominated by anyone. Qualifying candidates have to be an injured person whose case was rejected by the courts.

Paul Bland has been the executive director of Public Justice since 1997. As staff and senior attorney, he was responsible for developing, handling, and helping Public Justice’s cooperating attorneys litigate a diverse docket of public interest cases. Paul has argued and won more than 30 cases that led to reported decisions for consumers, employees or whistleblowers in six of the U.S. Courts of Appeals and the high courts of nine different states.

LawyersandSettlements.com will publish updates about the work Public Justice is doing in future "Illuminating Injustice" columns.

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
In 2001 I discovered mortgage fraud with FHA a class-action lawsuit was filed the attorney never showed up to court I have photos and video of the papers in the class-action itself he left all six boxes of fraud with me and I took them to the attorney general in Indiana and I have a letter saying that they got the boxs I was harassed and try to be intimidated by the banks and the builders and the people involved in the mortgage fraud my credit was wrecked my life was wrecked in reality with the muscular dystrophy I have all I wanted was a place to call home to go crippled

Posted by

on
Received a settlement for a small amount that I was told by my lawyers was the best they could do. I am now learning that the drug I took is responsible for more serious health complications that I continue to experience. I was also told that I could not talk specifics about my settlement and that i could never again redress my case and seek for more damages even if they occur.
Levoquin and Cipro, I believe have hurt my body badly and I also believe is the cause of my macular degeneration. Is there anything I can do without risking the loss of the small amount I received from Johnson and Johnson?

Posted by

on
Same question as was asked on the 19th. What about individuals wronged by the justice system? For me, it specifically had to do with CPS. And while not necessarily a class action issue, I know CPS has ruined the lives of many parents, children, and families around the WORLD for some time. My story would be a blog so I'll just be short and ask about individual justice corrections.

Thank you.

Margaret

Posted by

on
We need a lot of support here.
Is there a way that this move can be crushed completely?
It seem to cover any kind of case:
EVERY KIND OF CASE!

Posted by

on
Hi just wondering who I can contact if I was wronged by justice system? I was on probation, my probation officer didn't accept that I'm a girl with a girlfriend of 10 years (now married!) forced us to separate, then I took her to court, the judge ruled in our favor, she forged court documents in my file so I would repeatedly get violated, until I went to prison for 1year but sentenced to 2.
There's a lot more details however that's the main gist of it... I spent a year of my life away from my live in girlfriend and son, I spent over 30,000$ on lawyer fees trying to fight it, not to mention the calls from prison at about 10-15$ a day, commissary (hygiene food) my girlfriend would drive 6 hrs every week to visit ...funny thing is I went to prison for being with my girlfriend but she was approved to visit me in about 2 weeks which is short and we legally married about 1 week after my release while on parole!
And advice is appreciated
Kim

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