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VOL. 37 | NO. 1 | Friday, January 4, 2013
High court hears dispute over class actions
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is questioning efforts by consumers' lawyers to limit the amount of money sought in class-action lawsuits so they are heard in state courts rather than more business-friendly federal court.
The justices on Monday appeared receptive to an insurance company's argument that lawyers artificially lower the amount of money at stake to keep the lawsuits in state courts that often favor plaintiffs. The Standard Fire Insurance Co. of Hartford, Conn., says the tactic drags out lawsuits and makes fighting them so expensive that companies would rather settle.
The case involves a 2005 federal law that allows defendants to transfer class actions involving more than $5 million to federal court.
Standard Fire is being sued by an Arkansas homeowner over the cost of repairing hail damage.