AAI Applauds House Introduction of Class Action Reform Leg., Encourages Swift Passage

March 6, 2003

The Alliance of American Insurers (AAI) calls the class action reform legislation introduced in the House by Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) a bipartisan show of statesmanship that will benefit all Americans – consumers and businesses alike. A similar measure was introduced in the Senate Feb. 4.

“There are a number of strong consumer protections in this bill, and it eliminates some of the worst abuses in the current system. If this becomes law, forum shopping, nuisance suits, class certification and settlements not in the best interest of plaintiffs would all be in the past,” Kenneth Schloman, Alliance Washington counsel, remarked.

“We urge the Congress to move forward with this common-sense legislation, and encourage its passage as quickly as possible,” he said.

“Companies and consumers will benefit from this bill; the class-action bar will not, and it’s about time,” Schloman said. “Jobs, pensions, and 401K plans are more important to society than lawyers figuring out new ways to enrich themselves at everyone’s expense.”

The bill would reportedly ease the transfer of national class action suits from state courts to federal courts. Other provisions include a requirement that notices sent to class action members must be in plain English, a mandate that non-cash settlements be judicially scrutinized, and it would bar attorneys from causing class members to suffer a net loss.

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