# Bush Administration Makes An End Run Around Congress

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mgb_phys
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Are the people making that tradeoff the engineers or the consumers.? What value do engineers put on a human life? OK hopefully they don't, but management apparently does.
Generally consumer's are the worst at valueing life - look at the poor take-up of smoke alarms and the number of people who smoke.

The only people worse are politicians! Quick quiz, which killed twice as many people ?
The height of terrorism in Northern Ireland .vs. Traffic accidents in the same time.

As an example a broken rail in the UK in 2000 killed 4 people - the first serious rail accident in 10 years. The public inquiry cost more than fitting smoke detectors to every house in the country. Repairs to rails in the rest of the country to meet new sandards cost over $1Bn and closing rail lines for months while the repairs were done led to an estimated 10% rise in road deaths! We are drifting too far from the OP. Our tort system is being changed in a manner that bypasses those elected to do it. The Bush administration hijacked the judicial branch and now it appears the legislative branch is sitting on its thumbs will drastic changes that will affect many Americans are being made in an almost subversive manner. We do/did need tort reform, but as I stated earlier this is more like tort elimination in favor of big business. They will have no longer have an incentive to produce reliable safe products. Engineers always have to make a trade-off between cost and safety. When designing a sky-scraper, it's designed to withstand some windspeed. Surely they could spend more, and build it able to withstand higher windspeed. But at some point the chance of those winds occuring is not worth the extra cost in building the structure. It's up to the government to regulate minimum safety standards, anything beyond that should be left as a cost benefit analysis to corporations. As long as a product meets the minimum standards set by the government, and the company hasn't attempted to deceive anyone about additional safety features, there should be no lawsuit. I would suggest that the minimum standards should be raised significantly, and that the current process for setting them is severely flawed, but that is an entirely different discussion. chemisttree Science Advisor Homework Helper Gold Member We are drifting too far from the OP. Our tort system is being changed in a manner that bypasses those elected to do it. The Bush administration hijacked the judicial branch and now it appears the legislative branch is sitting on its thumbs will drastic changes that will affect many Americans are being made in an almost subversive manner. We do/did need tort reform, but as I stated earlier this is more like tort elimination in favor of big business. They will have no longer have an incentive to produce reliable safe products. You obviously haven't read the text of the CAFA 2005 legislation. Here is the part that the Attorney's find so despicable. (a review of the Act by the CBO) S. 5 would impose a private-sector mandate by possibly limiting the size of awards that attorneys could receive in certain class-action settlements. If a proposed class-action settlement provides coupons to a class member, the bill would require the attorneys' fees to be based on the value of the coupons that are redeemed or on the amount of time reasonably expended working on the case by class counsel. In current practice, the attorney's fee is sometimes based on the total value of the settlement. According to information from industry representatives and academic studies, settlements with coupons account only for about 10 percent of all class-action settlements. Moreover, according to those sources, attorneys' fees correlate very closely with the amount of time spent on such cases by class counsel. Therefore, because attorneys' fees would still be negotiated as part of any settlement, CBO estimates that the direct cost of the mandate, as measured by loss of income for attorneys in class-action settlements, would be small, if any. Oh woe! The Attorneys will have to live with a small (potential) loss of income. The authors of the Sun article have interpreted the Administration policy as meaning that litigants would potentially receive less in Federal Court than in State Court. The Administration's intent is: The Administration strongly supports the bill's proposal to establish a consumer class action bill of rights that would require heightened judicial review of settlements that either result in a net loss to the class members or give class members only coupons. The Administration also supports the provision prohibiting a court from approving a settlement that discriminates among plaintiffs on account of their geographical location. The bill also would make long-needed changes to the requirements for Federal diversity jurisdiction over class action cases. The Administration strongly supports the proposal to permit, in certain cases, removal of a class action to Federal court if the aggregate amount in controversy exceeds$5 million and there is minimal diversity (at least one claimant and one defendant are from different States). The Administration also strongly supports the bill's coverage of "mass actions" in its diversity jurisdiction and removal reform sections. Like class actions, mass actions can be used to adjudicate substantial numbers of claims simultaneously in a single trial. Failure to include mass actions would create a significant loophole and would undermine the purpose of this legislation. Combined with existing Federal rules for consolidation of related Federal cases, this proposal would help avoid the inefficiency, waste, and unfairness that have too often resulted from multiple overlapping class action suits.
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s109-5

This is law passed by the Legislative Branch! There is no end around!

BARAK VOTED FOR IT!

Engineers always have to make a trade-off between cost and safety. When designing a sky-scraper, it's designed to withstand some windspeed. Surely they could spend more, and build it able to withstand higher windspeed. But at some point the chance of those winds occuring is not worth the extra cost in building the structure.

It's up to the government to regulate minimum safety standards, anything beyond that should be left as a cost benefit analysis to corporations. As long as a product meets the minimum standards set by the government, and the company hasn't attempted to deceive anyone about additional safety features, there should be no lawsuit.

I would suggest that the minimum standards should be raised significantly, and that the current process for setting them is severely flawed, but that is an entirely different discussion.
I agree to a great extent and it is not an entirely different discussion. Raising minimum standards would solve half of the problem. The other half would be in filtering out the shyster lawyers and their frivolous law suits.

I just believe that the legislative branch should be doing it and not the executive. Although I readily admit the congress has not done their job, we will now end up in a situation where many legitimate concerns can not be addressed in the courts.

chemisttree
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Gold Member
I just believe that the legislative branch should be doing it and not the executive. Although I readily admit the congress has not done their job, we will now end up in a situation where many legitimate concerns can not be addressed in the courts.
This is the craziest thing I've ever heard. Should the Legislative branch control the operation of the Justice Department? You don't see a problem with that? Have you read the Constitution?

This is the craziest thing I've ever heard. Should the Legislative branch control the operation of the Justice Department? You don't see a problem with that? Have you read the Constitution?
I didn't say that. You did. The legislative branch makes the laws that the Justice Department upholds. The Executive branch has bypassed that process.

Should the executive branch control the operation of the Justice Department? It certainly has been.

edit: From the OP

In some instances, judges seem as exercised as consumer advocates about the FDA's undermining of lawsuits under state tort law.

In a recent decision, a federal appeals court judge wrote that the FDA has for over three-quarters of a century viewed state tort law as complementary to the agency's safety warnings on prescription drug packages and ''only for the last two years has it claimed otherwise.''

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chemisttree
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Gold Member
I didn't say that. You did. The legislative branch makes the laws that the Justice Department upholds. The Executive branch has bypassed that process.

Should the executive branch control the operation of the Justice Department? It certainly has been.
You mean the FBI, federal prosecutors, FDA, etc?

Please tell me you aren't confusing the Justice Department with the Judicial Branch of the gov't........

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chemisttree
Homework Helper
Gold Member
In some instances, judges seem as exercised as consumer advocates about the FDA's undermining of lawsuits under state tort law.

In a recent decision, a federal appeals court judge wrote that the FDA has for over three-quarters of a century viewed state tort law as complementary to the agency's safety warnings on prescription drug packages and ''only for the last two years has it claimed otherwise.''
You mean since CAFA was enacted by the Legislative Branch? Should all of our laws remain unchanged when Congress has passed laws meant to change them?

You mean the FBI, federal prosecutors, FDA, etc?

Please tell me you aren't confusing the Justice Department with the Judicial Branch of the gov't........

chemisttree
Homework Helper
Gold Member
You mean that you believe that federal prosecutors, the FDA and the NHTSA are part of the Judical branch?

You clearly do.

The legislative branch makes the laws that the Justice Department upholds. The Executive branch has bypassed that process.
Legislative branch... Executive branch... Justice Department. This is obviously what you believe to be the three branches of our form of government! It ain't!
Even Wiki gets this right:
The President is at the head of the executive branch of the federal government, whose role is to enforce national law as given in the Constitution and written by Congress.
(Hint: All agencies of the Federal government, especially those that have "department" as part of their name are controlled by the EXECUTIVE BRANCH of the Government)

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You mean since CAFA was enacted by the Legislative Branch? Should all of our laws remain unchanged when Congress has passed laws meant to change them?
You seem to be stuck on CAFA, there is a lot more involved now.

BTW This was not my quote it was the quote of a Federal Appeals Court judge in reference to an FDA decision. Blessed by the Bush Administration Federal agencies have started bypassing due process in the tort system. But you already know that you seem to just talk around it.

In a recent decision, a federal appeals court judge wrote that the FDA has for over three-quarters of a century viewed state tort law as complementary to the agency's safety warnings on prescription drug packages and ''only for the last two years has it claimed otherwise.''
The link is in the OP should you care to read it.