Thursday, May 21, 2009

Obama pulls back Bush-era policy curbing lawsuits


The Obama White House on Wednesday undid a Bush administration policy that used federal health and safety regulations to limit the ability of injured consumers to sue companies in state courts.

The move involving a policy known as "pre-emption" marks the latest step by President Barack Obama to redo the policies of his predecessor.

Trial lawyers who file class-action lawsuits on behalf of millions of consumers praised Obama's action.

The issue of pre-emption extends far beyond just the right to sue.

In the past eight years, federal agencies pre-empted laws across a wide range of areas -- health, safety and environmental regulations as well as financial and consumer protections.

"We're saying no more of that approach," said Kenneth Baer, communications director at the White House Office of Management and Budget. "We're going back to making it clearer and more orderly and more defensible under the law.".........

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