MassMutual Backs President on Tort Reform

January 10, 2005

The MassMutual Financial Group on Monday applauded President George W. Bush’s meeting with a bipartisan group of Members of Congress at which he called for showing “the American people that
both parties are willing to work together to solve problems.” The President stated that there is “a problem with class-action lawsuits; it is a problem that we all recognize, and it’s a problem we intend to fix.”

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) said it actively supports tort reform to limit the abuse of large, nationwide class action cases while ensuring justice for truly injured parties. While class action lawsuits are an important part of the U.S. legal system, MassMutual CEO Robert O’Connell noted that, “the current class action system is heavily abused by trial lawyers who ‘shop’ cases in plaintiff-friendly jurisdictions.”

The proposed Federal class action reform legislation – entitled The Class Action Fairness Act – recognizes that large interstate class action lawsuits deserve Federal court access because such suits typically impact more citizens and implicate more interstate commerce issues than any other types of lawsuits. Importantly, these class action reforms do not alter the right of a plaintiff to bring a legitimate claim or change controlling substantive law, and at the same time prevent the abusive venue shopping that reportedly clogs the courts.

During his first floor speech of the newly seated 109th Congress on
Jan. 4, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) stated his intention to “bring class action reform to the floor early next month.” He continued, “I’m confident we’ll pass this bill and take a big first step to restoring sanity and fairness to our legal system.”

The sentiments of President Bush and Majority Leader Frist were echoed in bipartisan fashion by Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) who commented, “there’s a very good chance…of getting a class action reform bill done.”

MassMutual said it looks forward to working with the Bush Administration, according to Ken Cohen, senior vice president & deputy general counsel. “We’re excited to have the opportunity to work with Members on both sides of the political aisle in the House and the Senate. Our goal is to help achieve meaningful, real class-
action lawsuit reform for the benefit of working Americans, small business owners and consumers.”

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.