NU Online News Service, March 14, 10:03 a.m. — Washington
By a 233-190 vote, the House of Representatives has approved industry-backed legislation that grants federal district courts jurisdiction over major class-action lawsuits.
The legislation, H.R. 2341, calls for federal court jurisdiction in most class actions in which the claim for damages exceeds $2 million and in which any member of the plaintiffs’ class is a citizen of a different state from any defendant.
In addition, the legislation establishes a “consumer class action bill of rights.” This provision of H.R. 2341 calls for judicial approval of noncash settlements, standardized settlement notification information and protection against loss by class members because of payments to the plaintiffs’ counsel.