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Bill in Senate Could Help Chinese Drywall Victms

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Chinese drywall victims could get some help from a bill introduced in the U.S. Senate that would make it  easier for American consumers to sue foreign manufacturers.

Because of stipulations under the Hague Convention, it can be very difficult to sue, and even serve notice of a lawsuit to  foreign manufacturers of defective products.  The Foreign Manufacturers Legal Accountability Act of 2009 would eliminate those hurdles, ensuring that Americans can serve necessary legal papers on foreign manufacturers and that those companies do not evade the jurisdiction of American courts.

According to The Palm Beach Post, the bill has several provisions that would reduce red tape for consumers wishing to sue foreign manufacturers.  These include:

  • A manufacturer who imports products into the United States would have to have a business representative in at least one state where it does business who could be served on any claims.
  • Foreign manufacturers would agree to be held accountable by U.S. courts if sued.

The bill has bipartisan support  – it was sponsored by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and co-sponsored by Sens. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., and Richard Durbin, D-Ill.  The legislation is also supported by  the Consumers Union, the American Association for Justice and the Consumer Federation of America, The Palm Beach Post said.

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