WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Chamber of Commerce today expressed disappointment at the U.S. Senate’s 44-43 vote against invoking cloture (60 votes are needed to invoke cloture) on S. 2062, the Class Action Fairness Act.
This was a vote against America’s workers, employers and consumers that continue to be victimized by a legal system run amok, said Stanton D. Anderson, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of the U.S. Chamber, and Chair of the Class Action Fairness Coalition. Although we are disappointed at the procedural gimmicks that continue to stymie an up-or-down vote on the bill, we remain committed to passing this reasonable and vital piece of legislation this year.
The procedural legislation would curb 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, the bill would 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.
Last November, a bipartisan group of Senators negotiated a legislative compromise on class action lawsuit abuse. That compromise ensures genuine local class action lawsuits remain in state courts where they belong, and that legal fees in coupon settlements be determined as a percentage of the actual coupons redeemed or the number of hours the lawyers actually worked.
After months of negotiation and bipartisan agreement on a compromise bill, the time is now to pass class action reform, continued Anderson. We urge the Senate to put partisanship aside in the name of true reform that benefits all Americans.
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.