Recently, the Republican-controlled U.S. House passed a bill intended to make it more difficult to bring class actions. Democrats objected that the measure would cripple the public’s ability to keep abuses by corporations in check.
The ironically named Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017 changes federal standards for class actions. Backers of the legislation, including Judiciary Committee Chair Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said the bill would adjust the balance between abusive plaintiffs and innocent defendants. The class action bill would require that plaintiffs show that potential class members have both the same type and “scope” of injury to win class certification. Opponents of the legislation say it would make it virtually impossible to bring a class action lawsuit, effectively locking the courthouse doors to millions of Americans.