May 01, 2017 Articles

Class Actions 101: Does the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017 Spell Doom for Class Actions as We Know Them?

Some consumer advocates worry that the bill will destroy class action litigation altogether.

By Paul Karlsgodt

On March 9, 2017, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 985—the Fairness in Class Action Litigation and Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2017—by a vote of 220 to 201. The bill has been praised by business interests as a necessary check on abuses in class action litigation and derided by consumer advocates as a tool to destroy consumers’ ability to protect themselves against corporate abuses. Some are worried that the bill will destroy class action litigation altogether. In this edition of Class Actions 101, we explore some of the history of H.R. 985, the likelihood of its passage into law, and its potential impacts on class action litigation if enacted.

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