WASHINGTON, D.C., June 24, 2015 Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron released the following statement in response to the today’s scheduled markup of the so-called Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act:
This bill is only the latest in a series of assaults by Congressional Republicans on Americans’ fundamental right to turn to the courts when they have suffered harm.
In this case the legislation would eliminate whole categories of lawsuits in which those who have been harmed join together to stand up for their rights.
Were this already the law, groups of plaintiffs would only be able to bring cases where each member was injured in the exact same way—a nearly impossible requirement to meet. Small business owners harmed by the BP oil spill would have been shut out of court, as the exact amount of business they lost varied. Victims of large-scale financial fraud would have no remedy because each was defrauded by a differing amount.
Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has written that one of the provisions included in this bill “would drive a stake through the heart of the class action device.”
At a minimum, the sponsors of this legislation should give it an honest name: The Free Pass for Corporate Wrongdoers Act.
Alliance for Justice, www.afj.org believes that all Americans have the right to secure justice in the courts and to have their voices heard when government makes decisions that affect their lives. We are a national association of over 100 organizations, representing a broad array of groups committed to progressive values and the creation of an equitable, just, and free society. Through our justice programs, we lead the progressive community in the fight for a fair judiciary, and through our advocacy programs, we help nonprofits and foundations to realize their advocacy potential.