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September 8, 2015

MSCI Partner Explains Importance Of Supreme Court Case Concerning Class Actions

As Connecting the Dots reported two weeks ago, the Metals Service Center Institute, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, the American Petroleum Institute and the American Tort Reform Association submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court of the United States supporting Tyson Foods’s position in Tyson Foods vs. Peg Bouaphakeo, a case that concerns class action lawsuits. 

In a column last week in The Hill Phil Goldberg, director of the Progressive Policy Institute’s Civil Justice Center and the lawyer who filed the amicus brief on behalf of MSCI and its allies, explained the importance of the case. Goldberg said, “The Supreme Court this month received the first round of briefing in a case that could cure one of the newest, most significant abuses in our civil justice system: massive class actions that lawyers file on behalf of people who are not injured. In these cases, the class action plaintiffs’ lawyers use novel legal theories and damage models to get their classes certified and then count on companies to settle the claims and pay them attorney fees – sometimes for more than the class members will end up collecting from the settlement. The whole point of civil litigation is to make people whole for their losses. Any person who is not injured and has no loss to be corrected should have his or her claim dismissed. The person has no substantive legal basis for the claim, and Article III of the U.S. Constitution gives federal courts jurisdiction only over cases where people allege actual injury traceable to the defendant.” 

Click here to read the full column.