Enforcing Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights: A Stark Dichotomy

By Scheagbe Mayumi Grigsby

On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico burst into flames, dumping millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf. The incident killed eleven people and caused irreparable harm to the environment and local economy. Eventually, hundreds of plaintiffs filed suit against British Petroleum (BP) and others. A subsequent class action lawsuit resulted in a settlement of medical claims arising out of the spill and the ensuing clean-up effort amounted to approximately $7.8 billion. As of May 6, 2015, BP had paid approximately $5 billion to more than 62,000 businesses and individuals. On July 2, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that BP had agreed to pay the “largest environmental fine in U.S. history for the Gulf oil spill.” Pending judicial approval, BP has agreed to pay $18.7 billion to Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and Florida over 18 years.

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Contracting for Value: Performance-Based Payments in Contracts Between Health Insurers and Drug Manufacturers

By Jonathan Herrick

Health care in the United States is a complex and expensive industry, and consumers who contribute financially to the industry presumably hope to derive some value or benefit from their participation. However, many consumers may not perceive a proportionate relationship between financial contribution and the value or benefit they receive. For example, “[m]ost Americans do not believe that price and quality of health care are associated” with each other. It is no wonder that Americans today have doubts about whether the amount they spend on health care is associated with the quality of care they receive; despite spending a larger portion per capita on health care services than many other industrialized nations, the United States lags behind in important measures, such as life expectancy. Although the relationship between health care services and life expectancy is complex, it is clear that the United States is spending more per person on health care than many other countries, but consumers are not benefitting proportionately with regard to certain measured health outcomes.

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Voisine v. United States, the Orlando Shooting, and the Suspension of Constitutional Rights

By Marvin Lim

In the wake of the 2016 Orlando nightclub mass shooting, Voisine v. United States, a case the U.S. Supreme Court decided only two weeks later has even more significance now than ever. Voisine v. United States raises an important, timely question: When can constitutional rights, and in particular the Second Amendment right to bear arms, be suspended? The case – which involved a defendant who, like the Orlando perpetrator, had a history of domestic violence – further emphasizes why our society must be more principled and consistent in making this kind of determination.

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