Last night, the House Judiciary Committee voted a bill out of committee that if passed into law, would eviscerate Americans’ abilities to bring nearly every type of mass action currently available to them in the Court system. With the stroke of a pen, this new law would eliminate large groups of individuals’ legal rights to take action against corporate wrongdoing. This includes the enforcement of civil rights; as well as consumer, employee, and investor protections.
The Trump administration has already made clear that it intends to block federal agencies, including those within its own branch of government, from working to prevent harm to our fellow citizens. One needs only to read about its views on the EPA, CPSC, FDA, and the coming attempts to deregulate the financial industry for proof. Now, the Congress is moving to make sure that when you are harmed, you won’t have access to the Federal court system.
The American Association for Justice (of which a number of Lopez McHugh attorneys are members) has also issued a statement on the subject.
“When Americans are unwittingly victimized by widespread corporate wrongdoing, justice demands that they have an opportunity to join together to hold those corporations accountable. However, H.R. 985 will deny groups of injured consumers, workers, and investors of their right to be represented by an attorney, while also providing corporations with new ways to hide evidence of wrongdoing.”
“Shockingly, this committee has not held a single hearing to consider the consequences of this ill-conceived, overly-broad legislation. Supporting a bill that rigs the legal system against your constituents is offensive; doing so without even bothering to hold a public hearing and debate the merits is reprehensible.”
It is important to know your rights and how they may be impacted by H.R. 985, and other pending bills intended to limit your access to courts (because H.R. 985 is not the only one). Make sure you are paying attention and working to make your voice heard by your U.S. Representatives and Senators.
It is time to remind these representatives that they represent we the people, and not the corporations that would sponsor and support something as anti-American-citizen as H.R. 985.