Legal Reform

A growing economy brings much-needed jobs and wage growth, but it also provides opportunity for entrepreneurial trial lawyers to exploit flaws in America’s lawsuit system for their own gain. 

The U.S. Chamber and its Institute for Legal Reform believe that the key to correcting those flaws and paving the way to a freer, fairer economy lies in repairing our broken class action lawsuit system, eliminating the fraud that permeates asbestos litigation, and curbing the rising trend of over-enforcement—particularly from certain state attorneys general, who are too often engaging in inconsistent, duplicative, and politically motivated enforcement actions.

Projects and Programs

 

Priorities for 2018

  • Continue to implement a comprehensive campaign on the issue of over-enforcement, with a focus on raising awareness around over-reaching, duplicative, and costly enforcement actions from state attorneys general (AGs), as well as at the federal level.
  • Advocate for reforms to practices by state attorneys general, including procedures limiting the retention of outside contingency fee counsel and ensuring that lawsuits as well as any settlement funds, fines, and penalties are directed toward actual consumer relief, rather than pure shakedowns designed to fund specific AG projects or AG office budgets.
  • Curb asbestos litigation abuses by continuing to expose fraud and abuse by the plaintiffs’ bar, and work to reform and limit abuses associated with Section 524(g) asbestos bankruptcy trusts.
  • Work to pass in the Senate:
    • The Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act (FICALA); and
    • The Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act
  • Prevent or limit efforts to expand liability under the federal False Claims Act.
  • Fight to preserve the availability of arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.
  • Strive to enact legal reforms at the state level, particularly in West Virginia, Missouri, Kentucky, and Wisconsin.
  • Engage with the EU and member countries to curb the export of U.S.-style class action litigation.

Recent Activity

ArticleJun 25, 2018 - 1:30pm

This Case Bites: Man files lawsuit after fire ants bite him

It’s the case that’s been called “the poster child for everything that’s wrong with America’s lawsuit system” and a case that legal experts agree should have been thrown out of court.

ArticleJun 25, 2018 - 12:10pm

Taco Tuesday, Lawsuit Wednesday: Mexican restaurant targeted by baseless lawsuit

In 2000, Ramiro Arvizu and Jaime del Campo opened La Casita Mexicana, in Bell, California. They wanted to provide a taste of Mexican culture to residents of the predominantly Latino city located just outside of Los Angeles. Running a small business is difficult and, unfortunately, lawsuit abuse is one challenge faced by far too many small business owners.

ArticleJun 25, 2018 - 11:29am

Lawsuit Over Coffee? Lawsuit about warning labels brewing in California

Recently, a California judge ruled that any business selling coffee must display a warning label that coffee contains acrylamide, a chemical that may cause cancer. A lawsuit was brought against 90 coffee companies under California’s controversial Prop.

ArticleJun 22, 2018 - 12:17pm

Fishy Lawsuit: Making a federal case out of three small fish?

Captain Kathe Fannon has shared the Florida waters with former fisherman John Yates for years. Yates’ career was yanked from him by the federal government — and his freedom hung in the balance.

ArticleJun 15, 2018 - 6:30am

Lawsuits take school’s swing sets away from kids

Everyone has favorite childhood memories. For many people, those memories include rolling down slides, dangling off of monkey bars and swinging on swing sets at their local neighborhood playground.

EventJun 04, 2018 - 8:30am to 10:00am
Event Graphic: "BMS Battlegrounds: Personal Jurisdiction, a Year Later"

Bristol-Myers Squibb Battlegrounds: Personal Jurisdiction, A Year Later

ILR will convene a panel of experts to discuss the practical implications of Supreme Court decided Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Court and what it did (and did not do) to bring predictability to litigants defending suits across the country.

ArticleMay 25, 2018 - 12:14pm

Duck Duck Goose, Lawsuit: Pool store owners “goosed” then sued

In the spring of 2003, two Canada geese landed in the planter outside of Contemporary Watercrafters, a small pool maintenance business in Maryland owned by Howard Weiss.

ArticleMay 25, 2018 - 11:58am

I Want (More) Candy: Woman sues company over candy packaging

A woman in Illinois filed a lawsuit against Chicago-based Tootsie Roll Industries over the packaging of its popular Junior Mints candy. The woman claims boxes of Junior Mints have almost as much air as candy, leading consumers to believe they are getting more candy than is actually in the box. But the amount of candy is listed right on the packaging.

ArticleApr 25, 2018 - 12:05pm

Where’s Your Label? Lawsuit tries to roast businesses over coffee labels

Recently, a California judge ruled that any business selling coffee must display a warning label that coffee contains acrylamide, a chemical that may cause cancer. The lawsuit was brought against 90 coffee companies under California’s controversial Prop.

ArticleApr 25, 2018 - 11:51am

Most Ridiculous Lawsuit 2018: Watch the latest episode

A French waiter in Canada claimed he was fired for…being French? The waiter worked at Milestones restaurant in Vancouver for about a year, and was repeatedly warned about his rude and disrespectful attitude toward his co-workers. After being fired, he sued his former employer, claiming French culture “tends to be more direct and expressive,” and that his dismissal is discrimination.