Tuesday, June 09, 2009


The Second Trip

The second trip to DC was far more successful than the first. The Center for Justice and Democracy and the American Association for Justice did a fantastic job of organizing this effort. They arranged meetings for those of us who had been injured by defective Chrysler and GM vehicles to visit with Senators and Congressmen, or members of their staff when the actual Senator or Congressman wasn't available. The first day of the trip began with a press conference, and this time the press actually showed up!

I gave a statement during the press conference and then did several one on one interviews with reporters afterwards. Some coverage of the press conference was shown on FOX news in DC and ABC World News. Then it was off to see the Legislator's!

I met with representative's of Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Senator Kit Bond (R-MO). Both of the people I met with seemed concerned, and I was thrilled to hear Senator McCaskill bring the issue up during the Senate Commerce Committee hearing later that day! Along with other injuries she even pointed out that defective vehicles can cause someone to lose their legs! I like to think that's because she heard my story. :)

As the Commerce Committee was starting I was honored to do a live interview with CNN from the Senate Building Rotunda! How exciting is that! Before I gave my interview Senator Barbara Boxer from California, who was also preparing to do an interview with another network, approached and I got to speak with her about why I was in DC. She was concerned about the issue and has asked her staff to do more research!

The second day I visited with Staff members from Senator Lugar's office and Congressman Carson's office. They were also sympathetic and are trying to coordinate their offices efforts in regards to this matter.

After I came back to Indianapolis I was interviewed by Amber Stearns on WIBC. I've also contacted several members of the media to keep them up to date. My hope is that CNN will do a follow up that focuses on the use of tax payer money and how that should impact the way the bankruptcy is handled.

I have to say, the second trip left me feeling far more hopeful. I'm still not entirely convinced that the message has gotten to the Obama Administration, or if it has, that they "get it". I was contacted by a reporter from the Huffington Post when I returned to Indy. The story ran today. (Click on the link to see the story.)

While I was on this trip I had the chance to meet several others who have been injured by Chrysler and GM. One was a six year old boy who, at the age of three, was in a car accident and his seatbelt broke. He is now paralyzed from the chest down. The highpoint of my trip was racing him in our wheel chairs through a tunnel that connects the Senate Buildings!

Since the Supreme Court issued a temporary stay on the sale of Chrysler it had appeared that we made an impact. Of course, there are other issues that they needed to consider as well. For example the Indiana Police and Teacher's pension funds that were invested in Chrysler. In regards to the liability issue, I had hoped that the Supreme Court would realize that, in this case, our tax money is being used to block our 7th Amendment right to a civil trial, and that shouldn't be allowed. All they needed to do is remove the tort protection from the bankruptcy plan and hold the "new Chrysler" accountable for successor liability on all pending or future product liability claims. It can't be that hard to fix.

Unfortunately the Supreme Court ultimately allowed the plan to go through late Tuesday. According to the Assocaited Press: The court issued a brief, unsigned opinion explaining its action. To obtain a delay, or stay, someone must show that at least four of the nine justices find that the issue raised is serious enough to warrant hearing a full appeal and that a majority of the court will conclude the lower court decision was wrong. According to the court "The applicants have not carried that burden,". The court did not consider the merits of the opponents' arguments, only whether to hear their full-blown appeal.

I am extremely dissapointed by this decision. I would have thought that tax payer money being used in a manner that infringes on our rights would be a "serious enough" issue for the Supreme Court to hear the full appeal!

The fight is not over. Now that the legal matter is over, it's time for congress to act!

Good stuff!! I did get a very thoughtful reply from Senator Lugar from my e-mail. Pretty awesome to get a response from a man who is at the vanguard of disarming nuclear weapons in Russia. Matt
Who won the race?
WOW - what can we say about our little DC media mogul..I definitely see a future in politics for you..?? Your definitely opening doors and windows Jeremy so, keep up the good work. I know it has to be somewhat of a piece of the puzzle of closure for you. Let us, your adoring fans, know if there is something we can do for you on this end!!
Talk too you soon;
Love ya;
I've started at the beginning of this blog and gone all the way through to yesterday.. Now what am I going to do? :o)~

Right, who won the race?
The little boy won the race, but there may have been a little help from me. :)
There's no shame in being beaten by a child.. hehehe :o)~
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