As expected, President Bush signed the Class Action "Fairness" Act of 2005 this morning. The law is intended to curb frivolous class actions by taking the very good cases, worth $5 million or more, and making them harder to pursue. The frivolous cases, worth less than $5 million, will still remain in state court, where they will continue to occasionally frustrate defendants and judges, enriching a very small number of plaintiff's lawyers and a somewhat larger count of defense lawyers, and benefitting few, if any, consumers. If the bill has an unintended result of letting big corporate donors off the hook for mass-inflicted harms on low wage workers, consumers and other individuals, that is probably a
Next up for the Bush administration: fighting frivolous medical malpractice cases by capping the amount of damages that plaintiffs can recover in good cases. The logic, though flawed, is at least consistent.