Proposed Federal Legislation Would Rewrite Class Action Law

Author: Jeremy Gilman (former Partner at Benesch Law)

On February 9, 2017, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) introduced H.R.985 in the U.S. House of Representatives.  The Bill is titled “To amend the procedures used in Federal court class actions and multidistrict litigation proceedings to assure fairer, more efficient outcomes for claimants and defendants, and for other purposes.”  Its text can be found here:  https://goo.gl/I3iiS3.  If passed in its current form, the new statute would be called the “Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017.”  Rep. Goodlatte is the same legislator who introduced the Class Action Fairness Act in the House in 2005.

H.R.985 proposes sweeping changes to class action law and procedure.  It also proposes changes to multidistrict litigation and to personal injury and wrongful death actions which have been removed to federal court based on  diversity of citizenship.  The Bill was referred on February 9, 2017 to the House Judiciary Committee, of which Rep. Goodlatte is chairman.  There were no co-sponsors.  There are 41 members of the House Judiciary Committee, 24 of whom are Republican.  We’ll follow this closely.

Author: Benesch Class Actions

We offer timely information about class action developments in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the district courts within it (those in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee), Ohio’s state courts, and the United States Supreme Court. Occasionally, we veer from class actions and discuss other interesting cases from that terrain. Benesch’s Sixth Circuit and Ohio Class Action Report is coauthored by Jeremy Gilman and Anthony Sallah, who practice class action defense and complex litigation as members of Benesch’s Litigation Department.