February 2013

Will cruise passengers be victimized again – by forced arbitration

This post was originally published on the Alliance for Justice’s blog and can be found here.

As they suffered in sweltering heat, walked through sewage and defecated in plastic bags, some of the passengers aboard the Carnival Cruise Lines ship Triumph probably were thinking “At least when we finally get home we can sue the b-----ds.”

The Carnival Triumph in happier times (including working toilets) Well, they can try – and some already have. But the U.S. Supreme Court has made it a lot harder than it should be.

Avery's Heartaches

Avery de Groh, now 9 years old, is facing an all too familiar anguish: her life saving heart defibrillator has again been recalled. Stuck with the impossible decision of leaving a faulty device in their child or risk an intense surgery to take it out, the de Groh’s are wrestling with what to do. While unnecessary shocks and a second recall are alarming enough, more so is the fact that the de Groh’s learned about this recall a year after the fact through a chance newsletter. But the medical devices industry enjoys near total immunity from being taken to court if their devices were once approved by the FDA.  The result is a financial and emotional burden for the de Groh’s, who have already paid once for such a removal surgery and will be forced to pay out of pocket yet again.