Washington, DC, 20001
The American Association for Justice (AAJ) protects the civil justice system by advocating on issues before Congress and federal agencies with the goal of ensuring that people have a fair chance to receive justice through the legal system - even when it means taking on the most powerful corporations. When corporations and their CEOs act irresponsibly by delaying or refusing the pay fair and just insurance claims, producing unsafe products, polluting our environment, endangering patients, or swindling their employees and shareholders, the last resort for Americans to hold them accountable is in our courts. Our advocacy is focused on preserving this constitutional right.
Asbestos diseases continue to kill at least 10,000 Americans every year, but the rights of victims to hold asbestos corporations accountable have never been more threatened. AAJ advocates to protect victims’ access to the civil justice system to hold asbestos corporations accountable, and to preserve victims' privacy.
Today, there are nearly 10,000 fewer highway deaths per year than there were half a century ago. When vehicle miles traveled is taken into account, the ratio of fatalities is five times lower. In large part this is because of manufacturer accountability that was driven by the civil justice system. AAJ advocates to make our roads safer by ensuring that victims of auto crashes and defective automobiles have access to justice.
Class actions allow individuals who have been harmed to join together to hold even the largest corporations accountable for violating the law, but this important right is under attack. AAJ advocates to preserve class actions to ensure that corporations cannot evade accountability through the civil justice system.
As a condition of settling a dispute or turning over any material to injured consumers and their attorneys, manufacturers of faulty products regularly insist the information be kept secret – even if the product remains on the market and the information could warn the public of a potential health hazard. AAJ advocates for measures to ensure federal courts protect public safety by limiting court secrecy.
When corporations put profits over safety and market dangerous products knowing that consumers will be harmed, Americans must have a fair chance to receive justice through the legal system. AAJ advocates for the ability of injured consumers to access a strong civil justice system to hold corporations accountable and protect other consumers by bringing to light behavior that would not otherwise be revealed.
Forced arbitration allows corporations to violate and undermine the law by kicking victims out of court and instead funneling them into a rigged system designed by the very corporation the dispute is against. AAJ advocates to restore Americans' access to justice by ending this abusive practice.
Too often, Americans’ health and safety is put at risk by dangerous products imported into the U.S. Yet when these products cause harm, consumers face the daunting challenge of holding foreign manufacturers accountable for the damage. AAJ advocates to ensure that foreign manufacturers have to play by the same rules as American manufacturers and that injured Americans can seek justice in our courts.
Nearly 80 percent of all prescriptions in the U.S. are filled with the generic version of a drug, but taking a generic drug can also have dangerous consequences because patients who take generics lose their right to access justice. AAJ advocates for restoring the rights of patients harmed by generic drugs in order to hold generic drug manufacturers accountable, like name-brand manufacturers.
Thousands of patients rely on life-saving medical devices every year, but when medical device manufacturers put profits over safety, these devices can also be deadly and cause terrible injuries. A U.S. Supreme Court decision ruled that manufacturers of medical devices approved by the FDA’s strict review process, known as premarket approval or PMA, are shielded from accountability in court even when the devices are known to be dangerous. AAJ advocates to restore victims ability to hold all medical device corporations accountable.
Research has confirmed that 440,000 people die every year because of preventable medical errors. That is equivalent to almost the entire population of Atlanta, Ga., dying from a medical error each year. AAJ advocates to restore and strengthen accountability and access to the civil justice system when patients are harmed or killed by medical negligence.
Nursing homes have become a necessary resource for a growing number of American families, but an increase in residents and emphasis on profits has led to a distressing rise in neglected and abused seniors. Instead of improving safety, corporate nursing homes are working to limit their accountability and deny residents’ access to the civil justice system. AAJ advocates to ensure the safety of residents and to eliminate the use of forced arbitration clauses buried in admissions documents.
The brave men and women who serve in the U.S. armed forces make inconceivable sacrifices to protect our country and our rights, but many members of our military find that they cannot enforce their own rights in court. AAJ advocates to restore access to justice for the women and men who risk their lives every day in service of our country.
The trucking industry presents an escalating safety issue driven by an economic model that is fundamentally unsound. Truck drivers – compensated by miles driven, not hours worked – are pushed to ignore safety measures, delay repairs, and drive in a fatigued state. AAJ advocates for victims of trucking crashes to be adequately compensated for their injuries.
Corporations are often held accountable for fraud because of brave employees who expose their boss’ wrongdoing – changing the way corporations function for the better. AAJ advocates to ensure that whistleblowers' rights are protected and that they can remain a highly effective source for exposing wrongdoing to law enforcement, regulatory agencies, and the civil justice system.
Women have suffered disproportionately from the effects of dangerous and defective drugs and medical devices. Many defective products and healthcare practices were improved only after women and their families sought justice in court. AAJ advocates to ensure that women have access to accountability through the civil justice system.