- May 19, 2004
- Reaction score
- Plano, TX
- Political Leaning
- Libertarian - Right
Source: ABC news
WASHINGTON Feb 18, 2005 — As President Bush signed legislation Friday aimed at discouraging multimillion-dollar class-action lawsuits, he made clear he had his sights set on much broader restraints.
Next up, Bush said, should be curbs on asbestos litigation and medical malpractice awards.
"We're making important progress toward a better legal system," he said during an East Room signing ceremony for the class-action bill. "There's more to do."
Surrounded by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, the president hailed the legislation that had been bitterly opposed by consumer groups and trial lawyers but nonetheless attracted some Democratic supporters.
Bush said having federal judges take most large class-action lawsuits away from state courts would "prevent trial lawyers from shopping around for friendly local venues." Under the bill, class-action suits seeking $5 million or more would be heard in state court only if the primary defendant and more than one-third of the plaintiffs are from the same state.
And limiting lawyers' fees in settlements where plaintiffs win product discounts instead of money, the president said, would keep lawyers from reaping "huge pay-outs while the plaintiffs ended up with coupons worth only a few dollars." The law links attorney fees to the coupons' redemption rate or actual hours spent on the case.
"We have agreed on a practical way to begin restoring common sense and balance to America's legal system," Bush said. "The bill will ease the needless burden of litigation on every American worker, business and family."