Bill limiting class-action suit damages re-introduced

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A Senate bill that could work to limit lawsuit damage awards has been re-introduced amid optimism it will become law.

The measure, which was unveiled again this week, would transfer many class-action lawsuits seeking more than $5 million in damages from state to federal courts in an effort to limit damage awards. The bill is likely to pass, according to the Wall Street Journal.

According to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), this bill is one of the Republican Party's 10 highest legislative priorities. It is in line with President Bush's campaign to reduce medical malpractice awards. 

Last year, the House of Representatives passed class-action reform legislation sponsored by Republican legislators. It was amended in the Senate but defeated in part because lawmakers could not agree on certain unrelated amendments.

The new bill would transfer more class-action lawsuits from state courts to federal courts. Awards in federal court are typically smaller.