Press Release: Center For Justice & Democracy Releases New Transportation Study

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

For Release                                                                           
January 7, 2020

Contact: Joanne Doroshow
[email protected]                                                                                      


Commuters and Business Travelers Face Safety Risks and Limits on Legal Rights

(New York) – Today, the Center for Justice & Democracy at New York Law School (CJ&D) released a new report, Planes, Trains and Automobiles – and Other Transportation Hazards, which examines both safety risks and disappearing legal rights for commuters and business travelers. Written by CJ&D’s Emily Gottlieb, Deputy Director for Law & Policy, the study presents an “overview of some of the most common yet dangerous methods of transportation today” and “explores the ever-shrinking legal options that are available to harmed individuals who seek compensation and accountability in court.”

Said Gottlieb, “We focused on several common modes of commuting and business travel, including planes, trains, cars, trucks, buses, ferries and electric scooters. We found that generally the government is failing to ensure public safety, private companies are endangering the public and legal accountability for causing injuries and deaths is disappearing.”

The report is being published just days after a multi-vehicle bus/truck/car crash in Pennsylvania killed five and injured dozens. CJ&D notes that travel concerns are growing as the average commute time in America has reached record highs, while business travel is contributing to high levels of stress in the American workforce. According to the study, while commuters and business travelers “must largely rely on private companies to ensure their safety,” these companies “are subject to ever-weakening federal regulations and public protections.” As a result, “too many transportation injuries and deaths are occurring” while “legal rights are being reduced or, in some cases, eliminated altogether through state or federal tort limits, contractual restrictions like forced arbitration and federal preemption.”

“Too often, deaths and injuries are part of the commuting experience,” said study editor Joanne Doroshow, Executive Director of the Center for Justice & Democracy. “Whether the problem is Boeing, Amtrak, Tesla, Bird or any of the other manufacturers or operators that we entrust with our lives, safety needs to be a higher priority. Further, these companies should protect the rights of their customers to go to court if necessary. Unfortunately today, legal rights are being eroded by both lawmakers and private companies, some of which force customers to give up their rights in order to use their necessary transportation systems. This is un-American and must stop.”

Click here for a copy of the full report.


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