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27 Jun 2013

Paul M. Barrett, Bloomberg Businessweek

The Supreme Court: Corporate America's Employees of the Month

[A]rcane rules and jurisdictional statutes often determine the course of global commerce, the terms of employment for millions of workers, and the very nature of justice for many in corporate America. The 2012-13 high court session, which concluded June 26, saw the [US Supreme Court] justices continue a multiyear pattern of interpreting regulations and statutes in a manner that insulates corporations from liability risks. In other words, the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts has narrowed the avenues available to employees and consumers seeking to take their grievances before a judge. Evident in the court’s decisions is a deep-seated hostility to ambitious lawsuits aggregating the claims of hundreds or thousands of plaintiffs. [Refers to Comcast, Wal-Mart, Travelers, American Express, Shell, ExxonMobil, Chiquita, Cisco, Rio Tinto, Amgen.]

Part of the following timelines

Rio Tinto lawsuit (re Papua New Guinea)

ExxonMobil lawsuit (re Aceh)

Cisco Systems lawsuits (re China)