MCAA Works to Pass the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act
The House of Representatives recently passed H.R. 420, the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act (LARA), by a vote of 228-184.
LARA provides a national solution to end unjustifiable forum shopping ? where attorneys try to locate the best jurisdiction or venue to bring their case based on the reputation of the judge in the particular legal area, the likely type of available jurors and subtle differences in governing law and procedure.
Unfortunately, it costs little more than a small filing fee to generate a lawsuit, but costs much more for a small business to defend against it. Often, small businesses have few options to recoup these costs. The reality is that raising prices is often not an option, and sometimes cutting operating expenses (such as letting employees go) is a painful but necessary step in an effort to rebuild the company.
LARA will help to rein in frivolous lawsuits by:
- Restoring mandatory sanctions on attorneys, law firms or parties who file frivolous lawsuits.
- Abolishing the "safe harbor" provision that allows parties and their attorneys to avoid sanctions by withdrawing a suit within 21 days after a motion for sanctions has been filed.
- Permit monetary sanctions, including reimbursement of reasonable attorney's fees and litigation costs in connection with frivolous lawsuits.
- Extending the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 to state cases when a state judge finds that the case substantially affects interstate commerce by threatening jobs and economic losses to other states.
It is time to put an end to baseless claims. The Mason Contractors Association of America will continue to work on getting this bill passed in the Senate to help protect masonry businesses.
About the Author
he Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA) is the national trade association representing mason contractors. The MCAA is committed to preserving and promoting the masonry industry by providing continuing education, advocating fair codes and standards, fostering a safe work environment, recruiting future manpower, and marketing the benefits of masonry materials. Visit www.masoncontractors.org to learn more.