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Chamber Hails Senate Passage of Class Action Reform

Wednesday, February 9, 2005 - 7:00pm
The Chamber's Stan Anderson congratulates Majority Whip Sen. Mitch McConnell on passage of legal reform legislation.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform today hailed the Senate for passing the Class Action Fairness Act (S.5), a bill designed to curb class action lawsuit abuse in state courts.

"The Senate has taken a critical step toward granting families, consumers and employers relief from the heavy burden of lawsuit abuse," said Thomas Donohue, Chamber President and CEO. "Now it's time for the House to finish the job and take back our civil justice system from plaintiffs' lawyers seeking jackpot justice."

The legislation is aimed at curbing class action lawsuit abuse in state courts by allowing greater scrutiny of settlements that provide coupons or something else of little or no value to consumers, but return millions in legal fees to class action attorneys. In addition, S.5 is intended to stop the rampant practice of venue shopping of large national class actions by allowing federal courts to hear more national class action lawsuits involving plaintiffs and defendants from multiple states.

The Class Action Fairness Act passed the Senate after floor debate by a 72 to 26 vote, and leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives has indicated that they intend to bring S.5 to the House floor as soon as possible, maybe even next week. The Chamber credits the work of both Republican and Democratic senators for crafting and standing behind this consensus legislation, as well as Majority Leader Frist's and Minority Leader Reid's display of bipartisanship in managing the floor debate on the bill.

"Our country's employers and workers have waited long enough for this legislation," continued Donohue. "This is a sensible bill with bipartisan support that serves the best interests of the American people."

The mission of the Institute for Legal Reform is to make America's legal system simpler, fairer and faster for everyone. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation, representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector and region.

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