As we await voting from the House on H.R. 1215, the bill that would limit your right to non-economic damages in excess of $250,000 for a medical malpractice lawsuit, we are obviously not thrilled to report that H.R. 985, another bill that also restricts civil rights, has been approved by the House.
H.R. 985, otherwise known as the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017, attempts to severely limit the ability to file a class action lawsuit against corporations that have harmed or discriminated against Americans. Class action lawsuits are those that involve multiple plaintiffs with similar complaints against the same institution. An endless list of well-known class action lawsuits exist, many of which have changed the course of American history. For example, Brown v. Board of Ed., Roe v. Wade, Enron, and PG&E (famous for being the largest direct class action lawsuit in history and the inspiration for the film ‘Erin Brockovich’).
The bill has caused a stir among attorneys, past victims of corporate greed and negligence, and civil rights groups and advocates. It angered the American Bar Association enough to come out and state that this legislation requires a “nearly insurmountable burden for people who have suffered a personal injury or economic loss at the hands of large institutions with vast resources, effectively barring them from bringing class actions.”