One of the most dangerous threats to civil rights and liberties is the risk of large corporations and the deeds some do for the sake of profit. Due to the sheer size of most corporations and the substantial financial power most harness, it’s often possible for corporations to create and write contracts that remove justice from the American population and place it solely in the hands of the corporation. Once they create immunity for themselves they are no longer liable for harms caused to victims of personal injury, products liability and nursing home neglect and abuse. This gives these corporations the leeway to do what corporations often do best—rake in even more money.
However, there is one campaign that’s dedicated to putting the tools of justice back in the hands of the general American population. This campaign is called Take Justice Back. Formed in 2012, the Take Justice Back organization is a grassroots campaign that was founded on ideals of accountability, awareness, and fairness. Working together with attorneys and law firms around the nation, the organization aims to raise awareness of the unaccountability that often runs rampant in large corporations, promote safety, and ensure every American always has access to the legal system. When the population is aware that corporations often lack personal responsibility, it becomes easier to fight against these corporations and place justice back into the hands of the people. While the campaign is national in nature, Kentucky victims of personal injury and nursing home abuse and neglect are helped by the group’s efforts.
Since the Take Justice Back campaign was launched, the organization has raised awareness and made progress in many areas. Some of the areas addressed by Take Justice Back include food safety, auto safety, women’s health, medical safety, drug safety, product safety, asbestos safety, and nursing home safety. These areas are all commonly controlled by large corporations and shouldn’t be. Safety is a human concern, and should not be controlled by a corporation.
One of the areas the Take Justice Back campaign has done the most work in is nursing home safety. In the past 10 years or so, the nursing home industry has skyrocketed and is now largely controlled by profit-focused corporations who have little interest in protecting against nursing home neglect and abuse. When falls and bed sores in nursing homes occur and negligent behavior begins to surface, large corporations tend to seek to control the rights of residents instead of improve safety conditions and/or hire more staff members.
This is often done by placing dangerous forced arbitration clauses within the fine print of admission contracts. These clauses essentially force a resident or the family members of residents to resolve lawsuits without the aid of the civil justice system. Without the aid of the legal system, nursing homes can get away with negligent care more often than not, and since nursing home admissions often occur during a time of emotional hardship and vulnerability, many residents and family members aren’t properly made aware of these clauses and what exactly they mean.
By raising awareness of these arbitration clauses, the Take Justice Back campaign helps family members of nursing home residents become more aware of the contracts they’re signing and learn to stand up for the rights of their loved ones. If news regarding the raised levels of awareness starts making headlines, the corporations in charge of these nursing homes might begin to rethink their admission contracts after receiving negative press.
When enough awareness is brought to light, government agencies also begin to step in, creating laws and acts that prevent corporations from making decisions that take advantage of Americans during vulnerable times like when placing a loved one into a long term care facility. In the case of nursing home arbitration, we saw this in 2012 with the creation of the Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act (H.R. 6351) in California. Struggles to make this act a reality on a nationwide level continue to this day, but raising awareness is always the first, essential step to creating change on a national level.
The Take Justice Back campaign is a fantastic organization built around placing justice back in the hands of Americans and out of reach from profit-hungry corporations. Corporations need to be held accountable when their actions attempt to dehumanize the world we live in. To learn more, read about the specific work Take Justice Back has done and find out about recent campaign work on Twitter or Facebook.