WASHINGTON, D.C.— Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), made the following statement today applauding the House Judiciary Committee’s passage of the “Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of 2013” (H.R. 2655). The legislation seeks to reduce wasteful litigation by making sanctions against frivolous claims mandatory rather than discretionary under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and by eliminating a 21-day “safe harbor” window period for a plaintiff’s lawyer to withdraw a lawsuit without penalty.
“In the years since Congress watered down federal laws intended to prevent frivolous lawsuits in 1993, such claims have led to increased insurance costs, job losses, and an almost total failure of attorney accountability. The result over time has been potentially hundreds of millions of dollars of unnecessary costs to small businesses and our nation’s economy.
“This legislation would increase the risk involved in making a frivolous claim because a claimant would be prevented from withdrawing the claim without consequence. This would result in fewer phony lawsuits and reduce wasteful litigation.
“We commend the House Judiciary Committee for passing this important legislation, and urge both the House and Senate to swiftly follow suit.”ILR seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the national, state, and local levels.
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