The future of class action lawsuits

I recently wrote about Vioxx and Celebrex. Class action lawsuits have long been hurting big business, but the question for me is do the businesses deserve it?

Anyone who’s watched Erin Brockovitch knows what I’m talking about. How can citizens take on a big corporation? Only by ganging up on the corporation. However a new law, if it’s passed, will make class action lawsuits far more difficult.

This would improve the investing climate in America, but I fear that it will leave many Americans who have been hurt by big corporations with no way to seek compensation.

2 Responses to “The future of class action lawsuits”

  1. Rayn says:

    Well, the new class action bill, soon to be law, will definately limit the number of suits brought against these big businesses.
    However, looking at this more critically, one can observe that there is a “law-suit mania” adversely affecting this countries business pursuits and enterprise. I think that it will help curb the mania plus allow constructive class action suits to be brought before state and federal courts…plus reduce the huge fees lawyers receive relative to the compensation of the innocent class members.

  2. Jake says:

    Nice site.

    The gradual perversion of tort law started back in the 1950s with the general agreement among some of the leading law experts at the time that torts could be used as a powerful tool to reshape and improve standards of safety and security. The process continued through the 60s and 70s with court cases that at the end of the day repudiated the previous “law of contract” concept and replaced it with a rule that requires the provider of a service or product to satisfy a standard set by juries, rather than customers, producers, or regulatory overseers. The first problem with this standard is that it has no flexibility once established (i.e., I can’t decide to purchase a less-safe car if I desire or a opt for a riskier drug once it’s been subject to law suits and removed from the American market). The second and maybe more serious problem is that the precedents set under common law have been set by juries that at the end of the day are relatively un-sophisticated and often unable to tell the difference between talented / persuasive lawyering and common sense. In fact, highly intelligent critical thinkers are to be avoided in the jury selection process. They tend to think for themselves in contrast to your average couch potato who is quite happy to let others do the thinking for him/her.

    Just a few thoughts from someone who finds the history of torts interesting… 😉