AIA Supports Commonsense Litigation Management to Hold Down Lawsuits

June 9, 2005

The American Insurance Association (AIA) on Thursday announced it is supporting S. 908, “The Commonsense Consumption Act of 2005,” because the legislation is an example of practical, well-thought-out litigation management that will help hold down the skyrocketing costs of the U.S. tort system by reinforcing the doctrine that adherence to statutory and regulatory requirements should act as a bar to frivolous law suits.

“The food industry is the latest target of ‘regulation by litigation’ lawsuits. The suits are aimed at fast food distributors and restaurants with claims that the food served ’caused’ certain individuals to become overweight or obese,” noted Melissa Shelk, AIA vice president, federal affairs. “S. 908 is a measured response to these suits.”

The measure prohibits lawsuits against the manufacturer, distributor or seller of a food or non-alcoholic beverage product intended for human consumption from claims of injury resulting from a person’s weight gain, obesity or health condition related to weight gain or obesity.

“The bill does not preclude other types of lawsuits, including those for false advertising or injuries from food consumption. Nor does it immunize the food industry,” Shelk noted.

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