AAJ Statement on House Passage of Corporate Forum Shopping BillFebruary 25,2016
Washington, DC— The following is a statement from American Association for Justice President Larry Tawwater on today’s passage of the “Fraudulent Joinder Prevention Act of 2016” [H.R. 3624] in the U.S. House of Representatives. If enacted, the bill would undermine the authority of states to interpret their own laws by enabling large corporate defendants to force state-law claims into federal court, and would impose unprecedented burdens on plaintiffs seeking justice in the courts of their home state.
“H.R. 3624 unnecessarily overturns more than 100 years of legal precedent for no reason other than to give corporate wrongdoers another unfair advantage. For over a century, our current law has struck a fair balance between the plaintiff’s right to bring their claim in the appropriate forum, and the defendant’s right to remove that claim if joinder is truly improper. This bill would help corporations rig the system even more in their favor.”
“H.R. 3624 will also exacerbate the judicial vacancy crisis by unfairly forcing state cases into federal court. Rather than putting another roadblock in the way of plaintiffs seeking justice, Congress should be taking steps to alleviate the backlog of federal judicial vacancies by confirming nominees. We urge the Senate to focus its attention to filling the federal bench – not on granting corporations the right to forum shop when Americans seek to hold them accountable for wrongdoing.”