Ken Buck bill aimed at helping small business owners avoid frivolous legal action passes House committee
February 2, 2017
A bill sponsored by Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., which is designed to offer small businesses some measure of protection against frivolous legal action, passed the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
The measure, dubbed the Innocent Party Protection Act, passed the committee by a vote of 17 to 4. This legislation is designed to protect innocent small businesses from being fraudulently added to a lawsuit by trial lawyers, according to a news release from Buck's office.
To keep a lawsuit in a preferred local jurisdiction instead of federal court, trial lawyers sometimes join innocent small businesses to a lawsuit in the local jurisdiction where they want the trial to be held. When they've successfully moved the case to a local court, the trial lawyers typically drop the small business from the case, the release stated. However, by that time, the business has frequently incurred legal costs. Buck's measure would give judges greater discretion to release local defendants from a case.