Act Now To Protect Your Constitutional Right To Fight Back Against Corporate Wrongdoing

By on March 1, 2017

Despite the fact that the right to a jury trial is enshrined in the Bill of Rights, corporations have been quietly shutting the courthouse door to consumers for decades. And they aren’t done yet.

Class action allow regular people to hire lawyers on contingency, and to pool their damages. Without that option, consumers would have to pay hourly or a flat rate.  This is only an option for people who have a lot of money to spend.  A bank customer improperly charged overdraft fees, for example, is probably not in a position to pay a lawyer out of pocket, and while a few hundred dollars in overdraft fees may be important to them, no attorney can litigate a case for a percentage of a few hundred in overdrafts.  The only way the consumer can fight back is by pooling their losses: bring a case on behalf of all bank clients.

Certain members of the U. S. House of Representatives have introduced a bill whose main objective is to eliminate access to the courts for ordinary people by adding barriers to class action and multidistrict litigations.

The proposed bill, deceptively called the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017, will make it harder for people to bring and win class actions by placing numerous hurdles at all points of the litigation process. It will eliminate existing rights and place the burden on the people they have harmed to prove their case prematurely, resulting in the likelihood that the case will not survive to reach a jury.

Corporations claim that they need protection from class actions, even though the bar to winning a class action has been rising for decades. Corporations have eroded these rights with barriers they claim are merely “procedural” and necessary to protect their rights.

The truth is that corporations are against class actions for a simple reason: they expose corporate wrongdoing and force corporations to pay when their conduct violates the law.

The recent news about Wells Fargo’s opening of millions of fake customer accounts offer a prime example of why consumer protections are critical.  While regulators can and do help consumers, regulatory agencies are outgunned by corporate America and cannot address every wrong.  Class actions empower consumers by allowing them to pool their resources and fight for themselves and others.

Anyone that values their rights should reach out to their Representative and tell them to vote against the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017:

http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/