Congress Corporate Crime

House Republicans Want to Bail Out Volkswagen by Blocking Lawsuits

Written by SK Ashby

By cheating on emissions tests, Volkswagen has defrauded hundreds of thousands of American consumers and the U.S. government.

Naturally, House Republicans want to shield Volkswagen from the consequences.

House Republicans will vote on a bill this week that would virtually eliminate class-action lawsuits that aren't directly related to personal injury, meaning the class-action suit against Volkswagen filed on behalf of nearly 600,000 costumers would be squashed by Congress.

It’s known as the “Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act,” but lawyers and advocates call it the “VW Bailout Bill.” [...]

The simplicity of the VW Bailout Bill belies the chaos it would create. Proponents like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the bill’s leading lobbyist, say they merely want to get rid of “non-injury” class-action cases, based on potential damages from defective consumer products or corporate actions that have yet to result in harm. Lawyers for class-action litigants argue that defective products deserve compensation even if the consumer hasn’t yet been injured.

But the bill goes much further, stating that courts may not certify class-action suits unless the plaintiff “affirmatively demonstrates that each proposed class member suffered the same type and scope of injury as the named class representative or representatives.”

Not only would the bill eliminate class-action suits not related to injury, it would even make lawsuits based on injury much more difficult to file by adding new layers of red tape and legalese.

I assume there are at least some Republicans who ostensibly represent constituents who also happen to be Volkswagen customers; Republicans who will vote for this bill to fuck over American consumers.

The good news is this bill probably won't pass the Senate and there's no way President Obama will sign it.