11/22/2011 // San Francisco, CA, USA // Keller Grover LLP // Eric Grover
The employment law attorneys of Keller Grover applaud the release of a landmark new report, “Do As I Say, Not As I Sue: Exposing the Lawsuit-Happy Hypocrites of U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform,” by the American Association for Justice. The AAJ’s paper finds support for the civil justice system in the most unlikely of places: the very multinational corporations working to restrict Americans’ access to the courts.
“What the AAJ’s eye-opening paper reveals is that those shouting the loudest for slamming courthouse doors shut are happy to use those same courts — and use them often — when they are the ones with a wrong that needs to be corrected,” says attorney Eric A. Grover, a founding partner at Keller Grover LLP, a nationally recognized labor and employment law firm with offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles. “The report exhaustively details how 10 companies — all members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform and vocal opponents of court access — have themselves looked to the courts to protect their rights with lawsuits. And lawsuits, one should note, that their own fellow ‘tort reformers’ would likely call frivolous.”
Among the examples cited in the AAJ’s report: How FedEx sued a software developer who built a table, chairs, desk, and bed out of FedEx boxes, claiming he was violating FedEx’s intellectual property rights (and forcing him to take apart the furniture); how Caterpillar turned to the legal system when it took issue with its portrayal in the children’s movie “George of the Jungle 2,” which featured Caterpillar machinery being used by the film’s villains to destroy virgin territory; how Johnson & Johnson filed suit against the American Red Cross for using the red cross symbol.
“The report’s huge accomplishment is how it shows that even the very companies that want to decimate the civil justice system know it is essential,” says Grover. “Whether one thinks their lawsuits were frivolous or not, the Constitution gives these companies the right to seek recourse in the courts, and they should have that right. Trial lawyers know that, anyone who has ever been injured by a wrongful act know that, and guess what — even the big companies that don’t liked getting sued know it. Their actions, fortunately, speak louder than their words.”
The sole mission of the Institute for Legal Reform, the AAJ report notes, is to restrict the ability of individuals harmed by negligent corporations to access the civil justice system. If successful, the results would be devastating.
“The legal system is often the last, or only, avenue for justice, for parties large and small,” says Grover. “It is how we make sure product defects get fixed, how we clean up toxic environments, how we assure proper safety standards, how we bring recovery to people who never should have suffered harm in the first place.”
The right to court access is essential, Grover adds, “and it’s good to see that the companies behind the Institute for Legal Reform think so, too.”
With offices in San Francisco and Los Angles, the lawyers of Keller Grover are dedicated, experienced advocates for those dealing with challenging issues in the workplace, including wrongful termination, breach of contract, disability, wage and hour violations, sexual harassment, discrimination, non-compete agreements, bonus and severance disputes, and matters involving the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). We also represent plaintiffs in California in a wide range of important, complex, consumer protection and antitrust class action matters — and have played leading roles in numerous game-changing state and federal cases.
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