It seems when Congress tries to pass a law taking away peoples’ rights they tack on a title that sounds like they are just trying to “tidy up” or do us a favor.
Such is the result of House bill H.R. 985, which they have ironically titled: “Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017”.
In a word: bull, lie, gibberish, hogwash!!
That is why the bill is opposed by over 120 civil rights and consumer organizations, including:
- Children’s Law Center, Inc.
- Communities for a Better Environment
- Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project
- Florida’s Children First
- Florida Legal Services, Inc.
- Human Rights Defense Center
- Women’s Law Project
- Workplace Fairness
- Southern Poverty Law Center
- Over a hundred more
This bill (known as H.R. 985) seeks to essentially eliminate the rights of all Americans to seek redress in our court system through class actions or multidistrict litigation efforts, which are often the only options for injured patients and consumers to level the playing field and seek compensation when they have been harmed by large corporations.
Multidistrict litigation (also known as an “MDL”) is the primary manner in which cases involving harm caused by dangerous drugs, medical devices, environmental spills, airline crashes, and defective automobiles are prosecuted in our court system. If the MDL process is not available in our court system, the costs of prosecuting a single case are prohibitive; and, as a result, injured people will be unable to pursue a claim when they have been injured or their lives taken by the negligence of others. The effect of this, simply, is that large corporations who have caused harm will be given immunity…a free pass to cause injuries with impunity. There will be no incentive for them to make safer products, and the tremendous losses suffered by injured people will not be compensated by the corporation causing the damage and harm.
This bill is not about “frivolous lawsuits.” This bill is about derailing the cases of thousands of injured people with legitimate claims against drug and medical device manufacturers who made defective products and failed to disclose the defects, resulting in severe injury to large groups of people.
The bill, by denying injured people access to the courts, will likely result in increased health care costs, health insurance premiums, lost wages and unemployment claims.
Bottom line? It is a bad bill that has absolutely no objective need to exist. It is nothing more than a thank you from politicians who took big campaign dollars from the medical device and drug manufacturing industries.
Go to https://democracy.io/#/ to find your representatives and send them a message you want your rights upheld and to vote no on H.R. 985.