U.S. Supreme Court

Business Consistently Winning Cases

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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