Friday, July 03, 2009
Why you should support the Jeremy Warriner Consumer Protection Act
Congressman Andre Carson has introduced H.R. 3088, the Jeremy Warriner Consumer Protection Act. I'm honored that he has named the bill after me, but please remember that I am just one of hundreds, if not thousands, of people who have been injured by Chrysler and GM. What we are fighting for is our right to face Chrysler and GM in court and argue our cases.
This effects everyone, because Chrysler has not only used our bankruptcy laws to get out of current pending cases, but they have also been given protection from any future injuries or deaths caused by their vehicles that were sold before May 30th of this year. Which means if you get injured, or your loved one is killed, by one of these vehicles you cannot face them in court either. GM has agreed to accept liability for future injuries and deaths caused by "old GM" vehicles that occur after the bankruptcy. However, they are not accepting liability for any pending cases, or new injuries or deaths that occur while they are in the bankruptcy court. Here's the kicker, we are paying with our tax dollars to create these companies that have less responsibility to the American people than any other auto manufacturer.
H.R. 3088, the Jeremy Warriner Consumer Protection Act restores that right by requiring any auto manufacturer who receives federal funding, either through ownership or through loans (currently only Chrysler and GM), to purchase liability insurance that will cover any pending claims from the "old companies" and any future claims. This should be important to you because, if Chrysler and GM do not accept responsibility for injuries and deaths caused by their vehicles then these cases must be heard before a jury. If that doesn't happen then the defects that caused these injuries and deaths will never get reported, important recalls will not be issued in a timely manner, and more people will be injured or possibly killed. I speak from experience when I tell you that the saying "it won't happen to me" will not protect you. Being a member of the UAW, working for GM or Chrysler, or choosing to be Republican or Democrat will not protect you either. A defective vehicle can, and will, cause disabling injuries and deaths.
Supporting this bill ensures our Constitutional 7th Amendment right to a civil trial so that we can hold these companies, that we have created with our tax dollars, accountable for injuries and deaths caused by their vehicles. Supporting this bill restores important consumer safety protections that have been jeopardized by the bankruptcy process by ensuring that dangerous defects get tracked by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and that important recalls get issued in a timely manner. Supporting this bill gives our Government the opportunity to show that it is still a government For The People!
You can show your support for this bill by contacting your Congressmen, Senators, and the White House. Click here to find out how to contact your Representatives in the Government. The following is a form letter that you can copy and paste into a word document to send to your Congressmen and Senators either through email or US mail. Be sure to enter the Representatives title and name at the top of the letter, and enter your name and contact info at the bottom so that they can confirm you are their constituent. Also, set your font in Word to Times New Roman, 11pt font, so that it stays on one page. After you have sent the letter please make a follow up phone call to the Representative's office. Feel free to change the letter if you want to put it into your own words. As soon as I can get a permanent link set up on the side bar the form letter will be available there! For now, Here's the letter:
Dear [insert Representative OR Senator and their name],
I am writing you today to ask that you, as my elected Representative in the US Congress, support H.R. 3088, the Jeremy Warriner Consumer Protection Act. This bill will require the restructured Chrysler and GM to purchase insurance for personal liability claims from Americans injured by their defective vehicles currently on the road. Jeremy Warriner lost both of his legs and was left permanently disabled due to a defective vehicle. Jeremy is just one of hundreds injured by a defective vehicle that would be left without effective legal recourse if this bill does not become law. I do not want what happened to him to happen to me or those I love.
Chrysler no longer has liability for past or future injuries or deaths caused by any of its vehicles on the road that were purchased before the bankruptcy. GM has agreed to accept liability for “old” GM vehicles that cause injuries or deaths in the future, but they are not assuming liability for the people who have been injured and currently have pending claims against them! How can any auto manufacturer be responsible for the safety of some of its vehicles and its consumers, but not all of them, especially when many of their consumers are driving, or were injured by, the same cars that Chrysler and GM are still selling? It’s disturbing that our government could allow such a thing to happen, and that they would use our tax money to allow it!
I am also extremely concerned about the safety issue this creates, which could affect me, my family, and my friends. There are over 10 million Chrysler vehicles currently on the road, any one of which could have a defect, possibly one that’s already caused injuries to the people whose cases are now being ignored! If the pending cases of the current victims of Chrysler and GM vehicles are not heard, and Chrysler does not have to address any future injuries or deaths caused by their over 10 million vehicles on the road, what incentive do Chrysler and GM have to issue recalls? Some of the defects involved in these pending cases could lead to immediate recalls which would make our roads safer. I am concerned this has created a situation where important recalls may never get issued! Injuries that could be prevented by these recalls will lead to mounting medical expenses that, without Chrysler and GM accountability, could ultimately become a burden on the tax payers.
I sincerely hope that you realize that the safety issues this creates could affect you and your loved ones too, and that the state that you represent does not need the added burden of the health care costs of the current and future victims of Chrysler and GM. H.R. 3088, the Jeremy Warriner Consumer Protection Act will ensure that these companies take responsibility for injuries and deaths caused by their vehicles, it will ensure that important recalls are issued in a timely manner, and it will relieve the tax payers of the cost of these victims medical bills. As my elected Representative you are the only chance I have that my voice will be heard. Please support this bill and ensure that it gets signed into law.
[insert your name]
[insert phone number]
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