The House of Representatives has just passed the “Class Action Fairness Act of 2005.” The Senate passed an identical bill last week. President Bush is expected to sign the bill into law tomorrow morning at 11:00 EST.
The new law gives federal courts jursidiction over most class actions when the amount in controversy equals or exceeds $5,000,000 and there are 100 or more plaintiffs.
Read the legislation by clicking here.
The new legislation will not affect traditional personal injury claims because those claims are inherently difficult to certify as class actions. Previous drafts of the legislation included “mass tort” cases in the new statutory scheme. However, with rare exceptions, “mass torts” are not part of the legislation as passed by Congress