July 11, 1998
Survivors of Defective Products from Last Year’s Veto Ceremony Urge Clinton not to Reverse his Position
(Washington) — Four survivors of product disasters, who last year stood behind President Clinton as he vetoed product liability legislation, sent a letter to the President today urging him not to reverse his position on this issue. “Legislation that cuts off the rights of Americans and their ability to seek justice cannot be ‘fixed’ and must be vetoed,” the four said.
The letter was sent in response to reports that the Clinton Administration “has established a task force that seeks to improve this legislation by reconciling disagreements over the most contentious issues in the bill.” Current legislation — S. 648 — was reported out of the Senate Commerce Committee in May, and is nearly identical to the bill vetoed by the President last year. It would make it more difficult for injured consumers to sue and obtain compensation for their injuries, including capping punitive damages.
Those signing the letter were: Carla Miller, whose husband was crushed to death when a defective tractor rolled over him; Jeanne Yanta, who was robbed of her fertility and almost killed because of a defective Copper-7 intrauterine device; Janey Fair, whose only child was killed along with 26 others when the fuel tank of a school bus in which they were riding ruptured and engulfed the vehicle in flames; and Lola Reinhart, a holocaust survivor who was severely injured when a defective elevator in which she was riding broke and plunged four stories.