U.S. Chamber Applauds House Judiciary Committee Consideration of Key Legal Reform Bills

February 15, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), made the following statement today about the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s consideration of the “Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017” (H.R. 985) and “Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2017” (H.R. 906):

“These bills will promote fairness and transparency in America’s lawsuit system.

“Class action lawsuits are rife with abuse, as lawyers are often paid many times the amount paid to all class members combined, and businesses pay settlements and legal fees for meritless claims. The Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act will ensure that class members get paid first, and that lawyers only earn a percentage of what class members actually receive. It will also protect businesses from abusive lawsuits, and the economic damage that they cause.

“Additionally, the lack of transparency and accountability in asbestos bankruptcy trusts has led to rampant and systemic abuse that threatens their ability to meet the needs of future claimants. The Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act will reduce ‘double dip’ claims against the trusts and in the tort system by requiring the trusts to report quarterly on who files claims. This system will protect individuals’ personal information just the same as the courts do.

“We commend the House Judiciary Committee for taking up these important bills, and encourage Congress to help them become law.”

ILR seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the national, state, and local levels.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.