Before approving legislation that would move many class-action lawsuits to
federal courts, the U.S. House of Representatives rejected a measure that would
have exempted civil rights and wage lawsuits from the legislation, Reuters
The House voted 279-149 to approve legislation that would restrict class-action
lawsuits to federal courts if the lawsuits involve more than $5 million in claims
and fewer than one-third of the plaintiffs are from the same state as the primary
Experts say federal courts have more restrictions on the cases they can hear
involving laws from multiple states.
The Senate has already approved the class-action measure and President Bush
signed the legislation into law today.
The legislation has no effect on pending cases.
Democrats tried to exclude civil rights and wage cases from the legislation,
but their effort failed to win enough support for approval.
Supporters of the approved class-action legislation say it will prevent lawyers
from "shopping" cases to states with courts most friendly to their
lawsuits, the news service notes. Opponents say the legislation would hurt consumers
and federal courts are already overworked.