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February 16, 2005

Chamber Celebrates Landmark Victory in Fight Against Lawsuit Abuse

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform today applauded the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the Class Action Fairness Act (S.5), a bill designed to curb class action lawsuit abuse in state courts.

“America’s employers and consumers are the big winners today,” said Tom Donohue, Chamber President and CEO. “Reform of the class action lawsuit system will reduce frivolous lawsuits, spur business investment and help restore sanity to our nation’s legal system.”

The Class Action Fairness Act is aimed at curbing class action lawsuit abuse in state courts by allowing greater scrutiny of settlements that provide coupons or something else of little or no value to consumers, but return millions in legal fees to class action attorneys. In addition, S.5 is intended to stop the rampant practice of venue shopping of large national class actions by allowing federal courts to hear more national class action lawsuits involving plaintiffs and defendants from multiple states.

The legislation passed the House after being approved 72 to 26 by the U.S. Senate last week. S.5 now heads to the White House, where the President is expected to sign the legislation into law. The Chamber would like to thank House Republican leadership as well as House Judiciary Chairman Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Representatives Goodlatte (R-VA) and Boucher (D-VA) for their strong support of class action reform.

“The speed with which this bill passed both houses of Congress this session is a testament to the glaring need for class action reform,” continued Donohue. “This is a landmark victory in our fight to restore fairness and balance to our courts.”

The mission of the Institute for Legal Reform is to make America’s legal system simpler, fairer and faster for everyone. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation, representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector and region.

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