House Passes Unnecessary Bill to Keep Americans Out of Court and Demolish States’ RightsMarch 09,2017
Washington, DC — The following is a statement from American Association for Justice President Julie Braman Kane on today’s vote to pass the so-called “Innocent Party Protection Act” (H.R. 725) in the U.S. House of Representatives. H.R. 725 would overturn 100 years of legal precedent and give powerful corporate defendants an unfair advantage to pick and choose where cases about their bad conduct are litigated:
“H.R. 725 is nothing more than a license for corporate forum shopping. If enacted, it would do nothing to strengthen the judiciary and would create a system that is ripe for abuse by corporate defendants. At a time when Americans demand more accountability from powerful institutions, it is offensive that Congress is considering legislation that would rig the system against the voters who elected them.”
“This one-sided legislation would make it more difficult for individuals to have their claims heard in state courts, and would allow corporate defendants to move cases into already-overburdened federal courts – resulting in delays and dramatically increased costs to plaintiffs and taxpayers. H.R. 725 would also deprive state legislatures and state courts of their authority to decide disputes, leaving them powerless to enforce the very laws they’ve enacted to protect their citizens."
“This legislation would have a devastating impact on Americans’ ability to seek justice when they have been injured by corporate wrongdoing. Congress should be making every attempt to advance their constituents’ rights, not fast-tracking unnecessary corporate handouts that will close the courthouse doors to people.”