NU Online News Service, April 11, 2003, 4:11 p.m. EDT — Washington
Industry groups are praising the Senate Judiciary Committee for approving a bill that would reform the class-action litigation system by moving major national class-action lawsuits from state courts to federal courts.
“This is a good step in the right direction,” says Jack Dolan, a representative of the American Council of Life Insurers, Washington.
“Life insurers have long supported reform of class-action litigation,” Dolan adds.
The bill, S. 274, was approved on a bipartisan basis after a compromise was worked out by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Herb Kohl, D-Wis., and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.
If the current version passes as written, federal courts would have jurisdiction over most major class actions in which the plaintiffs were asking for at least $5 million in damages.