Washington -- Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., has decided to postpone submitting a GOP bill that seeks to curb the mass of class-action lawsuits Republicans claim are bankrupting the nation’s businesses.
Frist said the decision was made following a number of requests from Democratic senators, who had agreed to give the GOP the required 60 votes to get a “filibuster-proof” majority on the legislation.
In the fall, Republicans failed to achieve the 60-vote mandate, but have now garnered several supporters from the other side of the aisle, including Charles Schumer of New York and Christopher Dodd of Connecticut.
The bill seeks to move more class-action suits out of state courts where juries often find for the plaintiffs in large award amounts to federal courts where awards typically are smaller. It would cover all types of class-action suits including securities litigation.
However, Democrats contend the GOP measure would make it easier for businesses to sidestep judgments and that large awards are needed to ensure businesses follow the rules.
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