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U.S. Supreme Court

Business Consistently Winning Cases

Posted Jun 21, 2007 2:53 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Business and tort reform advocates have been consistently winning cases this past year before the U.S. Supreme Court.

A dozen rulings this term limit damages or make it more difficult to sue corporations, David G. Savage writes in the Los Angeles Times.

In recent decisions the court has:

--Overturned an $80 million punitive damage verdict against Philip Morris and a $55 million verdict against Ford Motor Co.

--Protected insurance companies that fail to notify consumers their rates are based on credit ratings.

--Protected employers by requiring strict time limits in pay discrimination suits brought under the Civil Rights Act.

--Held antitrust laws don’t apply to investment banks that oversaw initial public offerings regulated by securities laws.

--Required plaintiffs alleging antitrust violations by the Baby Bells to show a “plausible conspiracy.”

Savage’s story was written before the court issued another pro-business decision today that made it more difficult for investors to bring securities fraud lawsuits. The decision is Tellabs v. Makor Issues & Rights, No. 06-484 (PDF).

Washington, D.C., lawyer Maureen E. Mahoney says the court is even more pro-business today than it was when led by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, for whom she worked as a law clerk.

"There is unquestionably a greater number of business cases before the court, and [the justices] are quite willing to limit damage remedies," she said.


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