Lawmakers Want to Take Away Your Right to a Fair Trial #StopHR985

An update on HR 985, a bill that protects corporations and civil rights violators by making certain types of lawsuits virtually impossible: It passed the House on March 9, 2017 (220 yeas to 201 nays). This is very bad news. The next stop is the US Senate.

The Misfortune Of Knowing


Many civil rights and mass torts lawsuits, including cases similar to the one at the heart of Amelia Elkins Elkins, could never happen if Congress passes H.R. 985, the so-called “Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017.”

In Amelia Elkins Elkins, a “courtroom drama” retelling a Jane Austen’s Persuasion, the Elkins family turns to the courts for justice after the matriarch’s untimely death. This fictional lawsuit is similar to real lawsuits happening across the country that stem from unsafe vaginal mesh products made and/or marketed by companies like Johnson & Johnson, Ethicon, and Bard. H.R. 985, if passed into law and signed by Trump, would make it harder to bring these types of cases to court by changing the procedures for multidistrict litigation, including by imposing new requirements on where cases can be filed, forcing trial courts to stop cases mid-way through for endless appeals, hampering…

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  1. Thanks for highlighting this. There’s so many things to call about, but it’s always good to have reminders about what’s going on. It’s hard to keep your eye on the justice prize when there’s so many fronts to fight battles on. YES I MIXED THAT METAPHOR. :p

  2. Grr! And it will likely pass the senate too and Trump will sign it because the government shouldn’t get in the way of business. Stuff like this really makes a person feel helpless.

    1. The bill is in the Senate Judiciary committee now. I think it’s likely the Senate will pass it, but maybe enough Republican Senators will realize how awful it is. In the House, 14 Republicans voted against it. Fair access to the court system shouldn’t be a partisan issue.

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