Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Buchanan Votes to Curb Bogus Lawsuits

Sep 17, 2015
Press Release
Florida Congressman Backs the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act

Measure Passes U.S. House, Moves to U.S. Senate 

WASHINGTON- U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-FL, today voted for the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act, legislation to reduce the number of baseless lawsuits against individuals and small businesses. The measure which passed the U.S. House, 241 to 185, allows a judge to compensate victims of dishonest and spurious lawsuits.

“Small businesses are the backbone of Florida’s economy, providing 3 million jobs in the state,” said Buchanan, a senior member of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, “They are already struggling under the weight of excessive federal regulations, they don’t need the added cost and burden of fighting bogus lawsuits.” 

Specifically, this legislation (H.R 758) would allow judges to impose mandatory sanctions if a plaintiff made an improper, unfounded claim “such as to harass, cause unnecessary delay, or needlessly increase the cost of litigation.

The measure, which protects both individuals and businesses against groundless suits,  has been endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). The measure now goes to the U.S. Senate for consideration.

According to the U.S. Chamber, “obtaining dismissal of a lawsuit that has no valid legal or factual basis can easily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and discovery costs – not to mention lost time and productivity.”

NFIB recently testified before Congress that three out of every four small business owners in America fear being the target of an unfair or baseless lawsuit.

“Too often, small companies find themselves the victims of lawsuits by individuals looking to take advantage of them knowing they are more likely to settle even baseless claims rather than fight them in court because of the expense and publicity,” said Buchanan.

Buchanan noted the U.S. is one of the most litigious nations in the world with a broken legal system that costs taxpayers billions each year.