AAI Applauds House Judiciary Comm. Approval of ‘Class Action Fairness Act’

May 22, 2003

The Alliance of American Insurers (AAI) commended the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday for approving the “Class Action Fairness Act” (H.R. 1115). This reportedly clears the way for full House consideration of the measure.

“It’s very encouraging to see the Committee’s support for the measure. This is a much-needed piece of legislation,” Kenneth Schloman, Alliance Washington counsel, commented. “It hits some of the worst problems in the class-action system forum shopping, nuisance suits, class certification and settlements not in the best interest of plaintiffs. Consumers will benefit from the quicker hearings and more uniform approach in the federal court system.

“We could not have reached this point without the steadfast support of Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and the strong work of two key sponsors of the legislation, Representatives Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Rick Boucher (D-Va.) – coupled with a united business community.”

The bill would reportedly ease the transfer of class action suits that are national in nature from state courts to federal courts. The bill would require that notices sent to class members be in plain English, coupon settlements would be judicially scrutinized, and attorneys would be barred from making settlements that cause members to suffer a net loss.

“We believe this legislation will receive strong bipartisan support when it is considered by the full House. It is a balanced solution to a growing problem,” Schloman concluded.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a similar bill (S. 274) April 11. It awaits action by the full Senate.

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