Today Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson joined House colleagues in supporting the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act, which would limit unnecessary and frivolous lawsuits in U.S. federal courts.
“We need to do better in this country protecting individuals and small businesses who have had been sued unfairly. Often, even if a case is found to be frivolous, victims of baseless lawsuits are forced to pay thousands of dollars and spend significant amounts of time away from their families and their jobs,” said Simpson. “Unfortunately, this is frequently the result of overzealous lawyers who have the incentive to sue and collect lucrative attorney’s fees.”
H.R. 2655 would ensure penalties for abusers of the law and provide protections for victims of frivolous lawsuits. It imposes mandatory sanctions on lawyers who file baseless suits and ensures the victim is compensated in full, including the attorney’s fees and other costs incurred. It also would get rid of the current “free pass” rule that allows lawyers to file frivolous suits and simply withdraw them after 21 days even after the victims have spent time and money defending themselves.
“This bill takes us in the right direction,” added Simpson. “I have long said we need to enact common sense tort reform to reduce both the direct and the indirect costs on the American people associated with junk lawsuits.”
The Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act is opposed by the trail lawyer association, but is supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, manufacturing organizations, and small businesses who are often victims of frivolous claims.
H.R. 2655 passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 228-195 and now moves to the U.S. Senate for consideration.