A new bill seeking to curb enforcement of U.S. class action lawsuits is facing opposition from antitrust groups, including the Committee to Support the Antitrust Laws (COSAL). The measure, H.R. 985 – Fairness in Class Action Litigation and Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2017, is currently under review by the Senate Judiciary Committee after being passed by the House on a 220-201 vote March 9. The bill would add preconditions for class actions and complex litigation cases.
According to Bloomberg BNA, “It has raised alarm bells for plaintiffs lawyers, who say the bill’s rigid requirements for bringing class actions would deter consumers from holding companies liable for antitrust violations.” The Committee to Support Antitrust Laws and the American Antitrust Institute, along with several other interested organizations, have publicly protested against the new measure.
“We are hopeful senators will take a more thoughtful approach and reject this pro-corruption bill,” stated Eric B. Fastiff, Lieff Cabraser partner and president of the Committee to Support the Antitrust Laws.
A frequent complaint about the measure is its unreasonably high standard of requiring all class members “to suffer the same ‘type and scope’ of injury to be certified as a class,” notes Bloomberg. Though the bill has passed in the House, various antitrust groups will continue to work to protect consumer rights and fight this new measure.
About the Committee to Support the Antitrust Laws
The Committee to Support the Antitrust Laws (COSAL) was established in 1986 to promote and support the enactment, preservation, and enforcement of a strong body of antitrust laws in the United States. It is the only organization in the U.S. that is dedicated to lobbying for strong antitrust laws and effective private enforcement.
About Eric Fastiff
The chair of Lieff Cabraser’s Antitrust, Intellectual Property, and Commercial Litigation Practice Group, Eric B. Fastiff has practiced commercial litigation for the past 20 years in the drug, food, technology, finance, and natural resource industries. Eric serves as co-lead counsel in the California Cipro litigation and represents The Charles Schwab Corporation in a suit against several major banks for alleged LIBOR manipulation. Eric’s notable successes include representing businesses that purchased TFT-LCD panels and products in litigation charging that the world’s leading manufacturers conspired to fix prices, resulting in settlements totaling over $470 million. Eric also spearheaded prosecution of class action litigation against De Beers for monopolization of the rough diamond trade, resulting in a $295 million settlement.