WASHINGTON (Jan. 27, 2005) — The Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act, a bill to stop frivolous product liability lawsuits, was introduced in the House Jan. 26 by Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas.
The bill would impose monetary sanctions against plaintiffs or attorneys who file frivolous suits—usually the cost of defending the claim—and extend those federal sanctions to state cases that affect interstate commerce. It also would require plaintiffs to file injury lawsuits in the states where they live or were injured or where the defendant's principal place of business is located.
The Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act passed the House in September 2004 but was never introduced in the Senate during the 108th Congress. A spokeswoman for the American Tort Reform Association, a business coalition that supports the bill, said she expected it to pass the House quickly but added it was still not certain who might sponsor it in the Senate.