February 23, 2022
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce strongly supports H.R. 6151, the “Highway Accident Fairness Act of 2021.” Members who cosponsor this legislation will receive credit for the Leadership component of their “How They Voted” rating.
The trucking industry is responsible for moving 70 percent of all freight in the U.S., and virtually all other industries depend on it in some way. But despite their importance to the supply chain, fraudulent claims targeting truck drivers, which result in enormous legal verdicts, contribute to the costs and shortages facing the industry. This bill would address this problem by making it a federal crime to stage a vehicle collision against a commercial motor vehicle.
In addition, under H.R. 6151, cases involving accidents with commercial motor vehicles valued at more than $5,000,000 would be considered in federal courts when there is minimal diversity of parties. As matters of national importance and interstate commerce, the federal courts are the best place for these cases.
Finally, the bill would require the disclosure of any non-parties that are funding these lawsuits in exchange for a cut of the award or settlement. Disclosure will help even the playing field for all parties in the suit and clarify financial motivations, which is important for detecting potential bad actors.
The Highway Accident Fairness Act of 2021 would improve the safety of our highways and reduce the financial burdens on truck drivers, law enforcement agencies, and the public that result from dangerous schemes. We applaud Representatives Henry Cuellar and Garret Graves for introducing this important bipartisan legislation that would support an industry vital to America’s supply chain and would help improve the safety of America’s highways.
The Chamber urges you to cosponsor H.R. 6151.
Neil L. Bradley
Executive Vice President, Chief Policy Officer, and Head of Strategic Advocacy
U.S. Chamber of Commerce