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Is this good or bad for the public? Is it good or bad for business?
Published on February 11, 2005 By joeKnowledge In Politics
This is something that i think was long and coming. Some of these lawsuits were so large that it did make me wonder if it was bad.

As I currently plan to sew a business I worked for recently, I have to say suing a business is not easy at all... at least when it comes to labor. I don't really know about other types of lawsuits, but I would gather that it would be difficult for those of little means to find someone to defend them in a court or even put together a case in the first place.

I guess that is the assumption that allot of juries came to as well. They must have thought that it is not easy to begin or continue a lawsuit (unless it happens to be clear cut) so the money we are giving to him is for all the people you probably did it to as well. Not to mention that the business is rich and probably thought that it would do what it does and for those who complained they would either pay them off or pay some low payout and be done with them


The point is that this way of thinking has brought many businesses to its knees. So, rightfully, this new law that is not in effect yet, but is expected to be, will change the face of lawsuits in America. I would guess, in particular, malpractice suits that literally driven doctors and insurers out of some states. Now many businesses can breathe a little easier knowing that even if they are sued, they will not lose their shirts.

The only major problem I have with this legislation is that the Catch 22 the article talks about:

But critics of the bill have said it may effectively create an impossible situation for many plaintiffs, since federal courts are barred under a 1985 Supreme Court ruling from considering class actions in which there are "material" differences in the laws among the affected states.

Thus, the critics say, the law may create a "Catch-22" in which class action plaintiffs find both federal and state courthouse doors locked.

"This bill is one of the most unfair, anti-consumer proposals to come before the Senate in years," Senator Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, the minority leader, said just before the vote. "It slams the courthouse doors on a wide range of injured plaintiffs." Many deserving cases will be dismissed, he predicted, and those that are not may have to go "to the back of a very long line in the overburdened federal court system."


But that is not all. In order to file a class action, one person has to be outside of the state the business is incorporated in, in order to proceed.


A class-action lawsuit can be defined roughly as one brought by a large group of people who are affected by the same questions of law and fact. The bill passed by the Senate this afternoon would give the federal courts the authority to hear class-action suits in which the money at issue is more than $5 million and at least one member of the "class" is from a state different from the defendant.


So what if they ALL are from the same state and the damages can not, by any means, fit under 5 million? What if, in fact, the said company underpaid employees for years? (Strangely, this could be part of my case against a former company I worked for).

2 wrongs don't make a right, though... if the lawsuit ends the companies business in the state, then many will loose their jobs. Not good.

I will need to find out more about this Catch 22 and if it really can happen to most cases. And capping the class action to 5 million unless one person is from a different state should be a little higher; say 10 million.

How this will actually effect lawsuits, business and the normal person will be seen. One way or the other, this was a good move to start. Lawsuits were definitely out of hand and need to be controlled in some sort of way. This is the beginning of a long discussion ahead.

Comments
on Feb 11, 2005
Lawyers look at every breathing human as little more than a potentially injured plaintiff (otherwise known as a cash cow). The thing that really upsets Reid & other opponents of this bill is the potential decrease in the pool of clients they can use to extort big awards. That's cynical, I know, but oh so true.

Cheers,
Daiwa
on Feb 11, 2005
poor john edwards... out of his senate seat, NOT vice-president.. and now no more multi million dollar lawsuits. poor poor john edwards
on Feb 12, 2005
Any infringement on the ability to file class action suits makes me VERY scared. Few methods have been more effective at bringing publicity to an injustice, and law to law breakers than big time class action suites. This is a basic freedom being removed, and it bothers me badly.

I've been involved with 5 class action suits in my lifetime so far. I am currently directly named in 2 active suits, one of which against my old Employer (Radioshack) for refusal of them to pay overtime. They actually owe me $70,000 in overtime pay over nearly 8 years. http://www.radioshackclassaction.com/

Its amazing how this administration and their cronies are stripping basic freedoms from us everyday, and people are letting them get away with it.. I consider myself a conservative, but everyday this administration screws me, i'm leaning more and more towards the middle. It seems like they are intent on removing and stripping as many of our basic personal rights in favor of business/corporate rights as they can before their administration is finished. Scary.

on Feb 12, 2005
Kobrano -

This doesn't mean you can't recover that $70k if it is legitimately owed to you. The bill does not "eliminate" such suits, just controls them a bit. No "basic freedom" has been "stripped" from you.

Cheers,
Daiwa
on Feb 13, 2005
I think also the bill is not retroactive, so it will not effect your suit.

But it might effect mine...
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