Behrens Testifies on Behalf of Class Action Legislation

Shook, Hardy & Bacon Public Policy Co-Chair Mark Behrens testified before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, in support of legislation to address overly broad “no injury” class actions on behalf of the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) on April 29.

The legislation, named the “Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2015”, aims to solve the problem of overly broad “no injury” class actions, where a plaintiff with an injury brings a lawsuit seeking to represent a class including others who have no injury. The bill would require a party seeking class certification in federal court to prove that “each proposed class member suffered an injury of the same type and extent as the injury of the named class representative or representatives.”

According to a DRI National Poll on the Civil Justice System, 78 percent of Americans would support a law requiring a person to show that they were actually harmed by a company’s products, services or policies to join a class action, rather than just showing the potential for harm.

Behrens was joined on the panel by John Beisner of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Andrew Trask of McGuireWoods on behalf of Lawyers for Civil Justice.

Behrens’ full comments are available on IADC’s website.