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Senate committee approves Bush plan to limit class action suits

[JURIST] The Bush administration plan to curb class action lawsuits gained a victory today as the Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] left intact language that would send many class action lawsuits from state courts to federal courts. The committee approved the bill, dubbed the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 [text] on a 13-5 vote and the full Senate will take up the bill next week. The Senate will attempt to pass the bill without any significant amendments in order to gain the support of the GOP-dominated House, which has indicted it will support the legislation only if it is not substantially changed. House Republicans have reintroduced their own bill which they say is tougher than the Senate version in case the Senate compromise falls apart. Supporters of the bill say the aim of the new measure will protect actual victims who often get little or nothing from settlements. Opponents claim moving lawsuits to federal court will only aid businesses in escaping multi-million dollar judgments and would hurt lawyers trying to litigate those cases. AP has more.

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