Climate change—we’re at the tipping point

The air is warming, and the seas are arising. We’re heating up the Earth to a dangerous level, and the consequences are more hurricanes and forest fires, the dislocation of people who are abandoning their homelands because they’re turning into deserts, and our own national security. Listen to scientist Steve Rissing break down the problem in simple speak.

The hunger problem in central Ohio. It’s getting worse.

Hunger is a big issue in central Ohio, just as it is nationwide. The Mid-Ohio Food Collective serves 780,000 people annually in 20 counties, and the need for food assistance is growing. In just the last eight months 45,000 people who never before needed food assistance now do. The problem? Wages aren’t keeping pace with the rest of the economy. Listen to the conversation.

You’ve been raped? Sorry, but tort reform favors your rapist in court.

Attorney John Fitch has taken on the cases of two women who were raped. One was 15 years old when raped, and the other was 11. The juries awarded $3.5 million and $20 million, respectively, in the two cases for the trauma these women suffered and still suffer. But state law caps the damages a plaintiff can recover in a personal injury action, and the very few exceptions that allow the caps to be lifted don’t cover rape. As a result, the damages for each woman were reduced to $250,000, and from that sum, attorney fees and litigation expenses are deducted.

Fitch talks about the unfairness of the so called “tort reform” law that passed in 2005 and how the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled the law is constitutional. “Tort reform” is a misnomer, as the law does only one thing: it undercuts the rights of people who are injured. There are powerful forces behind tort reform, namely business interests and insurance companies.

Rep. Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) has introduced a bill that would remove at least some of the unfairness in the law. But it’s an uphill battle.


Police abuse—a few bad apples or a systemic problem?

Guest: Attorney James D. McNamara Jim McNamara has prosecuted civil actions throughout the state of Ohio on behalf of citizens who have suffered from police abuse. Based on the cases he’s handled over the course of 40 years, Jim explains why police abuse exists, the breadth of the problem, and what it takes to effect real change. Jim and a number of other leading civil rights lawyers recently filed suit in federal court against Columbus for the abuse citizens recently suffered when protesting downtown.