WASHINGTON (Sept. 10, 2004) — A major tort reform bill could go to the House floor as early as Sept. 14, according to the American Tort Reform Association.
The Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of 2004 passed the House Judiciary Committee by an 18-10 vote Sept. 8.
Among other things, the bill would require courts to sanction attorneys who file frivolous lawsuits and force attorneys to file lawsuits near the plaintiff's residence, the place where the injury occurred or the defendant's place of business.
The latter provision would end “forum shopping” among trial lawyers seeking courts that habitually show bias toward plaintiffs, ATLA said. Representatives of the Rubber Manufacturers Association and the Tire Industry Association said they support passage of the bill, but doubted it would get through the Senate before the October recess.