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Kingston Votes to Rein in Class Action Lawsuits

Location: Washington, DC


U.S. House passes Class Action Fairness act of 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Representative Jack Kingston (R/Ga-1) today voted in favor of restraining frivolous class action lawsuits. The Class Action Fairness act of 2005, introduced earlier this year by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R/Iowa), will bring more fairness to class action rules and help curb the explosion of class action filings.

"Frivolous lawsuits are booming in this county. The U.S. has more costs of litigation per person than any other industrialized nation in the world, and it is crippling our economy. Small businesses pay an average of $150,000 a year in litigation, with much of the money going to lawyer fees and transaction charges." Congressman Kingston said. "This legislation will help stop unscrupulous lawyers from causing unnecessary harm on our economy, businesses, and citizens."

Many times in class action cases, plaintiffs get documents in hard to understand "legalese," and they are unaware of their rights. Regrettably, lawyers often receive large payments while plaintiffs are lucky to get a small token award. The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 creates federal jurisdiction over class actions if the total amount in controversy is more than $5 million, and if any member of a plaintiff class is a citizen of a different state from any defendant. This provision will help ensure that deserving plaintiffs are the winners of the class actions process, not devious lawyers.

"In the 109th Congress we once again have the opportunity to stop class action lawyers from being able to snag millions of dollars while class action members receive a worthless coupon or even nothing," Senator Grassley said. "Many class actions are just frivolous lawsuits filed by crafty lawyers who want to make a quick buck, and do little or nothing for the consumers these cases are allegedly supposed to help. We need to put an end to the frivolous litigation tax that everyone ends up paying."

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