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CU Statement Regarding the “Class Action Fairness Act”

Thursday, June 11, 2003

Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, issued the following statement today criticizing passage of H.R. 1115, the “Class Action Fairness Act” by the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Despite its name, we believe that the bill is blatantly unfair to consumers. With federal courts already overburdened, it is difficult to see how pushing more class action lawsuits to the federal courts helps anyone but corporations and their executives who want to delay or deny relief to citizens they may have injured. This legislation doesn’t address those instances of abuse in the class action process that hurt consumers, such as collusive settlements where consumers get only coupons toward future legal services for which they must pay. But it does allow corporate lawyers to tie up cases for years in the class certification process,” said Sally Greenberg, Senior Legal Counsel at Consumers Union.
So many non-profit groups – including those that work on behalf of consumers, minority groups, and the elderly and disabled – as well as members of the legal community – including the Judicial Conference, State Attorney Generals, and law professors – spoke out against this bill. Unfortunately, big business won this vote,” said Ms. Greenberg.
Sally Greenberg