An excerpt from a 1/4/2016 Fiscal Times article titled A Bailout for Volkswagen? Congress Wants to Do Something Absolutely Crazy"...
|When Volkswagen admitted to cheating on air pollution standards tests in September, it opened itself up not only to government punishment, but lawsuits from 500k US purchasers of its "clean" diesel vehicles. Volkswagen has yet to fix the vehicles to bring them into emissions compliance, and even if it does, that will likely create a lower-performance car than consumers paid for.|
...a bill in Congress consisting of a little more than 100 words would not only prevent [Volkswagen clean diesel buyers] from seeking justice but also cripple virtually all class-action lawsuits against corporations. It's known as the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act, but lawyers and advocates call it the "VW Bailout Bill". ... [According to one lawyer] "This [legislation would be] devastating because it sets up all class-actions to fail"... (Article by David Dayen).
The class actions are setup to fail because, instead of suffering similar injuries, all the participants in the class action must suffer the same injury under the proposed legislation.
|[The legislation would require] that everyone in the suit have identical injuries or losses, such as experiencing a broken leg because of a car's faulty brakes. People with broken arms would have to file a separate lawsuit against the carmaker. (Orwellian-named Fairness in Class Action bill aims to restrict consumers' access to court. LA Times 6/30/2015).|
Sounds to me like who this legislation is supposed to make the process more "fair", by rigging the system (more) in the favor of corporations. That the GOP Congress is proposing this to protect Volkswagen (or at least make any class action filed against it that much harder to push forward on) is an action I find particularly odious. Given the fact that Volkswagen did not make a mistake but perpetrated a deliberate deception.
Further proof that Republicans dance to the tune of Big Business (and, apparently this is something the Chamber of Commerce wants as well).
"Much needed" by their corporate masters, I think.
SWTD Tags: Rigged.