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Joanne Doroshow
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Joanne Doroshow is Executive Director of the Center for Justice & Democracy at New York Law School (CJ&D), based in New York City. CJ&D is the first national consumer organization dedicated exclusively to educating the public about the importance of the civil justice system. She is also co-founder of Americans for Insurance Reform, a coalition of 100 consumer groups from around the country working to strengthen oversight of insurance industry practices. Joanne also helps to edit CJ&D's blog,

Entries by Joanne Doroshow

When the Insurance Industry Covets Our Rights

(0) Comments | Posted July 14, 2016 | 4:03 PM

In 1995, a part-time actuary for the Alabama Insurance Department achieved what the insurance industry had been trying to accomplish in state legislatures nationwide for years. With the simple stroke of a pen, Alabama became the first state in the nation to approve "forced arbitration" clauses in insurance policies, abolishing...

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The Funny Thing About Forced Arbitration and the CFPB

(0) Comments | Posted May 10, 2016 | 12:34 PM

When Funny or Die's Adam McKay was tapped to direct The Big Short starring the hilarious Steve Carell, lots of people probably thought "Well, that's a mistake. Wall Street isn't funny." So wrong. As Hollywood has begun noticing (comedy after comedy after

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The U.S. Chamber's Defective Litigation Machine

(0) Comments | Posted April 8, 2016 | 2:23 PM

In 1998, I founded the first consumer organization in the nation with an exclusive mission to halt and reverse the momentum for so-called "tort reform"- laws that limit everyday people's access to the civil courts. That same year, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce created its Institute...

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It's Time to End Dirty Back Rooms of Injustice

(2) Comments | Posted November 4, 2015 | 10:19 AM

Thirty years ago, a number of insurance companies got together in a room and agreed to create an insurance liability crisis in the United States. They would start raising rates, restricting coverage and canceling policies, largely for the purpose of coaxing state lawmakers into enacting so-called "tort reform." These are...

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When a Corporation Is 'Too Big to Care' About Breaking the Law

(13) Comments | Posted September 16, 2015 | 11:46 AM

In many ways, the new Huffington Post/Highline "DocuSerial" focusing on the unlawful conduct of drug giant Johnson & Johnson, comes as little surprise to us. Our own blog, ThePopTort, has regulatory covered J&J's many corporate offenses including the company's illegal promotion of...

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Congress Must Raise Amtrak's Liability Cap

(1) Comments | Posted May 13, 2015 | 3:56 PM

It's no secret that catastrophes tend to highlight longstanding, overlooked national problems. It's also true that there's usually a very small window of time to fix things before we stop paying attention.

It is both ironic and disturbing that the horrendous Amtrak crash in Philadelphia, and the ensuing focus...

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Nuclear Workers Deserve Better from Bechtel

(0) Comments | Posted March 19, 2015 | 4:22 PM

In 1983, I was a young lawyer representing the local community group trying to stop the restart of the Three Mile Island Unit 1 nuclear reactor -- sister of the crippled Unit 2. We knew that four years earlier, company officials created the conditions that led to the worst commercial...

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Small Businesses' Infinitesimal 'Tort' Problem

(0) Comments | Posted February 11, 2015 | 12:09 PM

For years, Big Business lobby groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have been advancing a legislative agenda to limit the liability of corporations that cause injuries (also known as "tort reform.") One of their principal arguments is that tort restrictions are needed to save jobs,...

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Respecting the Seventh Amendment

(3) Comments | Posted January 21, 2015 | 4:30 PM

There are few democratic institutions in America more embattled than the civil justice system. No matter what one thinks of "tort reform," the political term often used to describe laws to weaken this system, one thing is clear: For the last 35 years, questions about the future of civil juries...

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Malpractice 'Caps' Treat Women, Children and Seniors as Second-Class Citizens

(2) Comments | Posted October 29, 2014 | 4:41 PM

When an injured patient "wins" a medical malpractice case, where does the money go? Well, if he or she needs medical care, the money pays for that care, which the person did not need until they were hurt. In other words, much of the money (ironically) goes right back into...

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How Tort 'Reform' Ruins Health Care for Everyone

(4) Comments | Posted October 27, 2014 | 10:21 AM

Ebola-infected Thomas Eric Duncan was misdiagnosed in an emergency room and sent home in Texas, a state where patient safety deteriorated significantly when hospital emergency rooms were immunized for negligence. Beloved comedian Joan Rivers died during an office-based procedure in New York,

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Corporate Lawyers Breaking Bad

(1) Comments | Posted September 9, 2014 | 1:55 PM

I cannot wait for the new Breaking Bad spin-off, Better Call Saul, about the always entertaining lawyer, Saul Goodman. For those unfamiliar with Breaking Bad, Saul's a criminal lawyer. No, literally, a CRIMINAL lawyer. Saul already has a new fake website complete with a banner ad,...

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An Asbestos Decision That Disserves Our Vets

(0) Comments | Posted May 8, 2014 | 5:27 PM

Asbestos is one of those lethal toxins that should not persist as a problem in this country, but it does. Companies still use it, workers are still exposed to it and 10,000 Americans still die from asbestos-related illnesses every year.

In January 2014, a new...

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Patient Safety Takes a Back Seat, Once Again

(3) Comments | Posted January 20, 2014 | 8:33 AM

If 20 jetliners began crashing weekly, said a safety expert recently, "There would be a national ground stop. Fleets would be grounded. Airports would close. There would be a presidential commission. The NTSB would investigate. No one would fly until we had solved the problems." You're probably now...

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Cookbook Medicine Is a Recipe for Disaster

(1) Comments | Posted March 4, 2013 | 11:24 AM

An astonishing new article from JAMA Internal Medicine reveals that at least 150,000 people per year may be needlessly killed, rendered disabled, or otherwise harmed due to misdiagnoses in doctors' offices. Johns Hopkins, whose researchers authored this study, have been documenting epidemic levels of preventable medical...

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The Slow Death of Justice in California

(2) Comments | Posted January 29, 2013 | 8:55 AM

Here's a little known bit of American history trivia: The American colonists fought the Revolutionary War in significant part over England's repeated attempts to restrict jury trials. Not only that, the U.S. Constitution was nearly defeated over its failure to guarantee the right to civil jury trial. (The Seventh Amendment...

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The Meningitis Outbreak: Don't Expect Miracles From the FDA

(3) Comments | Posted October 22, 2012 | 1:53 PM

In one of this week's most anti-climatic news story, the Center for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finally confirmed what everyone knew: The origin of the deadly meningitis outbreak was fungus found in steroid shots produced by the New England Compounding Center (NECC) in...

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Yet Another Attack on Women -- The Medical Malpractice Bill

(54) Comments | Posted March 18, 2012 | 5:18 PM

This week, U.S. House leaders will bring to the floor H.R. 5, legislation that would limit the legal rights of injured patients and families of those killed by negligent health care. This bill is so outrageously broad that it covers not only cases involving medical malpractice, but also...

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Watch Hot Coffee, a Powerful New Film on HBO June 27

(14) Comments | Posted June 26, 2011 | 2:44 PM

If you know anything about the so-called "tort reform" movement in the United States, you may know that it has turned the civil jury system into an embattled and vulnerable institution. From at least the 1980s until today, this country has experienced a non-stop barrage of legislative and, in some...

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Why Medical Malpractice Reform Will Increase the Deficit, Not Reduce It

(76) Comments | Posted April 27, 2011 | 2:20 PM

When people talk about medical malpractice "reform," they are usually not talking about reducing the epidemic of medical errors in hospitals or instituting proven measures to actually reduce injuries, deaths, claims and lawsuits. No, they're usually talking about making it more difficult for patients injured by...

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