Rep. Ken Buck’s bill to protect small businesses from fraudulent lawsuits passes House
March 10, 2017
A bill sponsored by Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., that would offer additional legal protections to small businesses has passed the House by a 224-194 vote and will head to the Senate.
The measure, known as the Innocent Party Protection Act, would prevent trial lawyers from fraudulently joining local small businesses to a lawsuit to have their case heard in a court they perceive to be a more favorable forum, according to a news release from Buck's office.
The small businesses are added to the lawsuit, even though the trial lawyers have no intention of pursuing a claim against them. When these small businesses are dragged into the courtroom and forced to pay legal fees to defend themselves for doing nothing wrong, it can adversely affect their business, the release said. The bill would give judges more discretion to prevent this practice.
"When local small businesses are fraudulently joined to a lawsuit, the only winners are the trial lawyers," Buck, a Windsor Republican said in the release. "By protecting our innocent local businesses from these lawsuits, we enable them to focus on job creation and growth."