Class actions allow people with similar claims to band together to hold corporations accountable. This gives American workers and consumers the power and ability to level the playing field, even when facing the most powerful corporations in the world.
Class actions are often the only way that individuals can seek justice when they are faced with widespread corporate wrongdoing. When corporations rip off consumers for smaller amounts of money, it is very difficult for individuals to find the time and resources it takes to hold a corporation accountable on their own. If the stakes of individual lawsuits are just too high for one person, class actions make access to justice feasible.
Class actions also make the market place safer and better for consumers and investors because corporations have an economic incentive to treat them fairly. Class-action lawsuits have uncovered years of corrupt practices in the tobacco industry, contamination of ground water that caused cancer, fraudulent pricing strategies and misleading advertising by drug companies, and predatory payday lending practices.
Corporations and their front groups are working to end class actions because by doing so they would effectively be immunized from being held accountable for their dishonest and deceptive practices.
The ability of Americans to join together in a class action is essential in ensuring corporate accountability. Further limits on class actions will only give corporations a green light to rip off consumers and workers.
Congress is pushing a bill called the “Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017” (H.R. 985).
Despite its name, it is not fair to you: It is a bill that strips you of your rights while giving a hand-out to powerful corporations that do not want to be held accountable. If this bill becomes law, it will make class action lawsuits nearly impossible to pursue.
When Americans are harmed by widespread corporate wrongdoing, they should have an opportunity to join together to hold those corporations accountable. However, H.R. 985 denies groups of injured consumers, workers, and patients of their right to hold wrongdoers accountable in court.
H.R. 985 eliminates all sorts of claims, including those for defective products, securities fraud, price-fixing, civil RICO, anti-trust violations, breach of warranty, business loss claims, and lost wages. The bill would also prevent victims of discrimination from going to court to enforce their rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.