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February 3, 2005

Corporate Class Action Bill Denies Victims of Environmental Harms their Day in Court

Bill rewards polluters by delaying cleanup requirements and payments to victims

Contacts

James Cox (202) 667-4500 x202
Jared Saylor (202) 667-4500 x238

Washington, D.C.

"The corporate class-action bill currently under consideration in the U.S. Senate, S.5, is a bad bill for the environment. The bill would reward polluters by giving them a powerful tool with which to delay cleanup and the payment of medical costs to those they have hurt. It would allow polluters to attempt to remove cases involving toxic spills and other public health and environmental harms from the state courts in which they have been filed, and force them into federal courts that are often many hundreds of miles from where the harm took place. By seeking to deny victims their choice of forum, it rewards the polluters who caused the harm."

"Even in those cases in which removal to federal court may ultimately not be successful, the bill would add huge costs and delays to environmental claims. The victims of such harms would have to undertake the massive expense and delay of litigating which court their case should be in. And justice delayed is justice denied."

Earthjustice and other environmental groups listed below, sent a letter to senators in July 2004 opposing S. 5's predecessor in the 108th Congress, S. 2062:

American Rivers

Clean Water Action

Defenders of Wildlife

Earthjustice

Earthworks

Environmental Working Group

Friends of the Earth

Greenpeace

League of Conservation Voters

National Environmental Trust

Natural Resources Defense Council

Sierra Club

The Ocean Conservancy

The Wilderness Society

20/20 Vision

U.S. Public Interest Research Group

Read the February 2005 letter to the Senate (pdf file -- will open in a new window)

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