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U-Haul a good candidate for the corporate death penalty


Since a corporation is a person, and the Bush Court says corporations have free speech rights just like me, why don't corporations get executed when they kill people, just like I would? LA Times:

Kern County Superior Court judge declared in December that he would sanction U-Haul for "extreme negligence" in losing the evidence. Two weeks later, a federal judge in Ohio penalized U-Haul for similar conduct in a separate case.

U-Haul, the leader of the do-it-yourself moving industry, has repeatedly lost, altered or discarded truck and trailer parts sought by injured customers who sued the company, a Times investigation found.

In some cases, the company scrapped or repaired damaged parts in defiance of court orders that they be preserved as evidence.

For example, in this case of a death in Alabama:

In 1996, an Alabama judge struck the company's defense for violating an order to preserve components of a tow dolly involved in a deadly wreck.

Roger D. Waldon Sr., 46, was towing a Mercury Cougar on a dolly behind his Dodge truck when he lost control, crashed, and was thrown from his pickup and fatally injured. Waldon's son sued U-Haul, claiming that the dolly was defective.

Six days after the accident, plaintiff lawyers obtained a court order barring U-Haul from altering the dolly or removing it from a wrecking yard.

The judge later amended the order to allow U-Haul to transfer the dolly to a warehouse. But he ordered U-Haul "not to remove, loosen, adjust, disassemble or alter any of the components."

Inspecting the dolly, plaintiffs' experts found worn tire straps and a broken hook — proof, they said, that the device had been rented in a dangerous condition. But when the dolly arrived at a metallurgical lab for further testing, the suspect components were gone.

Again: If corporations really are persons, then they should pay the penalties that persons do when they kill or destroy evidence.

Of course, these examples from U-Haul are easy to understand.

But don't get me started on the "health" insurance companies.

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