Letter to the Editor: Consumer Safety

Chicago Tribune
Friday, August 18, 2000

As David Greising rightly points out in "Legal eagles swoop down on tire remains" (Business, Aug. 11), the civil justice system is a necessary safeguard against corporate indifference to the lives of others. In the court-room, consumers gain access to vital health and safety information by learning of industry efforts to conceal known dangers. Large jury verdicts simply reflect the public's frustration with big business, which time and again chooses profits over safety.
Enacting laws that prohibit companies from demanding confidential settlements or seeking protective orders for health and safety-related documents is another way to undermine the veil of corporate secrecy.
Such legislation would put businesses on notice that they will be held accountable for their misdeeds, affecting positive changes in corporate behavior, which would benefit all of society.
(NOTE: The author of the letter is CJ&D's Emily Gottlieb.)

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