DALLAS – Baron & Budd, a Texas law firm specializing in toxic torts, recently criticized the Fairness in Class Action Litigation of 2017 (H.R. 985) bill on its website, saying the legislation would “protect greedy companies” rather than consumers.

“In essence, (the bill) would eliminate the ability of consumers to seek justice through class action lawsuits,” the post states. “This bill seems harmless, when in reality it’s anything but.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce supports the bill, which is the “biggest tip-off” that the legislation is “anti-consumer,” Baron & Budd contends.

The U.S. Chamber owns the Record.

“The bill’s wording makes it seem rather benign,” the post states. “However, that’s nothing but tricky language. In a nutshell, it would prevent people from filing class action suits unless all of them suffered the ‘same type and scope of injury’ in order for the suit to be certified.”

Baron & Budd also argues that the bill would slow down the process of paying plaintiffs even more, because courts would have to audit payments.

“In addition, it would prohibit a plaintiff from hiring the same class action lawyer twice,” the post states.

“You can hire the same plumber or see the same dentist twice, why not a class action lawyer? This is a clear attempt at reducing class actions because there are only a few experienced lawyers who take these kinds of cases in the first place.”

Opponents to H.R. 985 include nearly 40 disability advocate groups, 70 organizations devoted to consumer justice and more than 100 civil rights groups.

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