Congress is currently considering legislation that would make it more difficult
for injury victims to pursue class action lawsuits. The bill recently
passed the House of Representatives and is being considered in the Senate.
In a class action lawsuit, one or more individuals pursue a legal claim
on behalf of a larger group of people. Under current federal rules, a
proposed class must share questions of law and fact in common, and the
claims and defenses of the representative parties must be ‘‘typical’’
of those of the class.
Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2015 (H.R. 1927) would prohibit a Federal court from certifying any class action
unless: (1) the party pursuing the class action demonstrates; (2) through
admissible evidentiary proof; (3) that each proposed class member; (4)
suffered an injury; (5) of the same type and scope as the injury of the
named class representative. The proposed measure would also mandate that
class certification orders issued by Federal courts “include a determination,
based on a rigorous analysis of the evidence presented” that such
a demonstration was made.
Critics of the bill maintain that it will raise litigation costs by effectively
requiring plaintiffs to prove the merits of their case at the certification
stage and then again during the trial on the merits of their case. They
also argue that making it harder for consumers to band together to bring
class action suits will lead to less corporate accountability when it
comes to product safety.
As San Diego injury lawyers, we are concerned that the Fairness in Class
Action Litigation Act will let companies off the hook when they sell defective
products that harm thousands of consumers. Plaintiffs should not be denied
the ability to pursue a class action lawsuit just because one victim suffers
a broken leg while another suffers a head injury.
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured due to someone else’s
negligence, don’t hesitate to contact
a personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free
consultation. Relying on more than 30 years of legal experience, we are
dedicated to protecting the rights of California injury victims.