Many people are worried about the impact of Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam’s attempt to undo the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act of 1977. The Tennessee Consumer Protection Act was created in 1977 to protect Tennesseans and their families from unfair, fraudulent and even abusive business practices. Under the guise of protecting jobs, industry and minimizing lawsuits, there is a movement to unravel the protections afforded consumers in Tennessee law.
Do We Really Want Another Scandal Induced Recession?
Individuals and consumer advocate groups point to the recession which was caused by corporate mortgage fraud and investment scams and question whether or not a lesson was learned at all. Individuals concerned about the Tennessee Civil Justice Act of 2011 believe this is just creating more of the same opportunities for corporations to take advantage of the hard working people of Tennessee.
Do Lawsuits Work In Protecting Consumers?
The use of lawsuits or the threat of a lawsuit has push corporations to make safety improvements in the products they sell to consumers. The checks and balance system in our nation’s courts dates back centuries to old common law, and the U.S. civil justice system. All corporations, businesses, manufactures and industries need incentives to improve their practices and the safety of their products.
Beginning in the 1960′s, the automobile industry faced a series product liability lawsuits which lead to dramatic auto safety developments of the seatbelt and airbag. Civil litigation has also advance policies concerning matters such as lead paint, safer prescription drugs, higher food quality and safer toys for children.
If this bill passes will it create more jobs or attract more large corporations to Tennessee?
Tennessee juries do not have a history of awarding excessive jury verdicts or awards. Tennessee is not considered to be a state where the people believe in “Jackpot Justice.” In fact, medical malpractice lawsuits in Tennessee have decline by almost 50% in recent years and while medical malpractice insurer profits increased significantly.
How many jobs were created as a result?
One of the most serious changes the to the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act of 1977 this bill is trying to remove is the provision that would remove the right of any Tennessean to bring a private lawsuit against a large corporation and its rogue stock broker “for engaging in any act or practice which is deceptive to the consumer or any other person.” If passed, this provision would have forced the families of the 16 elderly nursing home residents who died in a deadly fire in 2003, and all of the injured residents to share $750,000 in compensatory damages.