Alliance Encouraged by Closeness of Vote on Class Action Legislation

October 23, 2003

The efforts of the business community, insurers, and concerned citizens are reportedly beginning to show results as evidenced by the close procedural vote that occurred on class action reform legislation Wednesday in the U.S. Senate.

“The American public is growing weary of the continued abuse of the class action system and is making its voice heard,” said Kenneth Schloman, Washington counsel for the Alliance of American Insurers. “The public’s message to our nation’s leadership is to put a stop to civil actions that do little to achieve justice but do much to enrich a few.

“We remain confident that the Senate leadership, given the closeness of this vote, will try again to seek a vote on the merits of S 1751, the Class Action Fairness Act. This is modest court reform that seeks only to assure that class actions that are national in scope are heard by the most appropriate forum, the federal courts.”

The legislation is reportedly aimed at preventing abusive litigation practices such as forum shopping. It includes consumer protection provisions that require “plain English” notices and judicial oversight of settlements including those in which the consumer receives only a coupon for their award.

“We applaud the leadership of those Senators who crossed party lines to support this needed reform,” concluded Schloman.

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