AAI Lauds U.S. House Passage of “Class Action Fairness Act”

June 13, 2003

The Alliance of American Insurers (AAI) is commending the House of Representatives for approving the “Class Action Fairness Act” (H.R. 1115).

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a similar bill (S. 274) April 11. It awaits action by the full Senate.

“The ‘Class Action Fairness Act’ attacks some of the worst problems in our current class-action system: forum shopping, nuisance lawsuits, class certification and settlements not in the best interest of plaintiffs,” said Kenneth Schloman, Alliance Washington counsel. “Consumers will benefit from a more uniform approach in the federal court system.

“This bill provides needed reform without removing anyone’s right to their day in court. It simply assures that cases are heard in the most appropriate forum.

“House Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and two key sponsors of the legislation – Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Rick Boucher (D-Va.) – deserve a tremendous amount of credit for their steadfast leadership and support of this critically-important legislation.

“We believe today’s House action will encourage the Senate to pass its version of class-action reform. The bipartisan support this measure received in the House further illustrates a growing recognition of the need for reform.”

The bill would reportedly ease the transfer of class action suits that are national in nature from state courts to federal courts, and would require that notices sent to class members be in plain English. Under the measure, coupon settlements would be judicially scrutinized, and attorneys would be barred from entering into settlements that cause members to suffer a net loss.

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