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September 17, 2015

U.S. Chamber Applauds House Passage of Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), made the following statement today applauding the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the “Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of 2015” (H.R. 758). 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 plaintiffs’ lawyers to withdraw a lawsuit without penalty.

“Ever since Congress watered down federal laws that are supposed 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 in unnecessary costs to small businesses and our nation’s economy.

“This legislation would hold plaintiffs’ lawyers accountable for filing frivolous claims so they cannot simply withdraw a claim without consequence. This would result in fewer bogus lawsuits, and the overall effect would be to reduce wasteful litigation.

“We commend the House for passing this important legislation, and urge the Senate to swiftly do the same and send this bill to the president’s desk.”

ILR seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the global, 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.

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