ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Republicans at the Legislature want to shorten the statute of limitations for filing civil lawsuits and make other business-backed changes to Minnesota’s civil justice system.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hear bills Thursday afternoon that backers say will make the civil legal system more efficient, cut business expenses and increase productivity. Democratic critics say the biggest losers would be accident victims, cheated consumers and others who seek justice through the courts.

One bill would drop Minnesota’s statute of limitations for filing civil lawsuits from six to four years. Another would create an automatic appeal to all class action lawsuit certifications.

The bills are backed by a wide range of business groups. But Democratic Sen. Ron Latz says the changes would harm Minnesota’s tradition of strong consumer protections.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (51)
  1. swizzle says:

    if the GOP is pushing this then you know its bad news for consumers, the GOP cares nothing for the poor, the sick or the elderly and they are happy to toss everyone under the bus if it helps big business. I see the GOP is also pushing to remove the minimum wage, next they will bring back slave labor and child labor, lmao

    1. me says:

      Yeah, because earling a profit is evil!!! Look at glorious Cuba where no company could make a profit! See how happy the people there are on their way to their jobs at the broom factory! With their state of the art universial heathcare and wonderful government housing. DEATH TO CAPITALISM! An idoit should be able to sue McDonalds for spilling hot coffee on themselves. It’s the American way now.

      1. griley says:

        @ME—- Earniing a profit does not entitle you cheat, defraud, or otherwise harm others and then reduce their ablity to get things corrected. Only those taht excercise questionable practices would care about this.

        1. Mark says:

          Well, we just lost access to class action lawsuits. Companies are now free to add fraudulent charges to everyone’s bills all the time so long as it all adds up to less than the cost of hiring a lawyer. Making a profit isn’t evil, abusing your customers to make a profit is. Expect AT&T to have a field day with this.

          1. Matt says:

            So don’t use AT&T… Don’t you get how an economy works? If you don’t use a business they go under. If a business cheats you they should loose your business and they they go under. You don’t need government to correct what common sense can.

            1. GREAT REPLY says:

              @ Matt

              At least I’m not the only one who understands how economics work. Pray to God that there is enough like us still here.

              1. Matt says:

                Don’t worry about that one, I can answer it for you.

                There’s not!

                1. @ Matt says:

                  I think it’s time to take down the birdfeeder.

      2. Truth says:

        We get it “me”, it’s all about you. I can’t wait until the rioting starts……

      3. jimmy says:

        Please name one country in the world that has a pure Capitalistic system. Just one if you can do that I will start to believe in Capitalism. I do not think that one exists. Capitalism would soon destroy any country that used it as the sole economic system

        1. @ jimmy says:

          You are a complete idioit. It was called The U.S.A. (the western experiment) This country used to be great and free. Why do you think it has become one of the world’s biggest super powers in such a short life time. It was called CAPITALISM. Isn’t it amazing how fast big government can erase it all.

          1. jimmy says:

            When in this countries history did we have pure Capitalism? The first economic system this country had was Mercantilism chosen by the founding fathers. Please tell me in what year and who exactly changed this country to Capitalism. We still had Tariffs in this country until Ronnie Reagan stopped that practice. I’ll put it to you that is when the decline of the US started. Turn off talk radio and read some history books.

            1. @ Pavel says:

              Are you suggesting the ones we rewrite today. At some time moral common sense needs to be practiced. A free market can never fail unless something (government) disturbs the natural flow and redirects money. I don’t need talk radio or to read a book to figure that out. You have a brain try and use it.

              1. @ jimmy says:

                The previous response was for jimmy. So many libs on here spewing BS I get them confused

              2. jimmy says:

                So what you’re saying is the free market can never fail unless it does. This is the kind of argument I expect out of people like you. No facts just fiction made up of “MORAL” common sense whatever you decide that means. The truth is Capitalism has never worked anywhere in the world and has been rejected by most civilized countries.

                1. @ jimmy says:

                  That’s the exact problem with you libs. You constantly change the meanings of words to fit your needs. What’s your defintion of civilized? To steal from the rich and give to the poor? That was a fictional story called Robin Hood. I understand that you would have a hard time reading, so I will say it again. The free market can not fail on it’s own, unless it is phuced with by your big government. Understand yet?

                2. jimmy says:

                  Steal from the rich and give to the poor? In 1980 the top 1% TOOK 9% of total income in 2007 the top1% TOOK 23% of all total income. Who is stealing from who? You seem to have all of Limbaugh’s bullet points down you’re just short on any facts.

    2. Joe Hanson says:

      If the Democrats cared, the poor would be rich, the sick healthy and would have discovered the fountain of youth for the elderly.

    3. Matt says:

      Swizzle, who employee’s you? Right now it’s government or business, but everything comes back to business in the end because they are the ones producing what little wealth generation remains in the country. The regulations in Minnesota and the US in general is what is sending jobs oversees. You can’t have it both ways we either have business or we have unemployment and sadly less government.

      Additionally, minimum wage is a joke. What would be better to you having 2 people working at $4 an hour or 1 at $8. Personally I would take two people working at $4 because at least then there is employment and opportunity for building skills to advance. If you don’t want to work for $4 an hour then don’t work, if there is demand for jobs wages will meet that demand instead of today’s forced pay labor market where there are a number of people making more than what they deserve and others who don’t have a job or are being underpaid because of it. you should be paid based on the value you add, nothing more or less.

      1. Truth says:

        Your right Matt and when I am forced to work for $4.00 an hour, I will wait for you to go to your job and steal your house blind. You just don’t get a-hole, and unfortunately your going to learn the hard way…………

  2. Dave says:

    Until there’re no more to share we’re all hurted. Car has its own breaks. Stock enough water and foods. There will be no social justice. It’s just a fiction and people addicted to it

  3. shirley says:

    Why is it the republicans are so busy trying to find loop holes, ways to cut or remove people’s right’s to any thing that maybe a benefit for the middle class. BE CAREFUL WHO YOU VOTE FOR!

    1. Joe Hanson says:

      What rights have the Republicans cut or removed?

      1. HAHA says:

        May want to look at the Patriot Act some time. Doubt you say that ever again if you understand all the legal stuff in that. Better yet, ever heard of Gitmo, not all the people there were from other countries. Not saying that Dems have not done anything wrong but you asked the question

    2. Matt says:

      To get the economy moving again, instead of the DFL stifling business and choking out this countries future.

      1. jimmy says:

        The countries future is being stolen by the extreme greed of the top 1%. Tax them back to 1980 levels and the country will thrive again.

        1. @ jimmy (self-pitty) says:

          This country is being stolen by bottom feeders and freeloaders! Taxing is not the problem, it’s spending. Get a life.

    3. dan says:

      @ Shirley

      We are waiting for you to answer what rights the Republicans have taken away from you?????

  4. David J. Conklin says:

    Wonder how many jobs will be created by these bills?!?

  5. The Truth says:

    In the world of the big guy and the little guy, the GOP always supports the big guys and looks for ways to make him bigger. What is saddest of is that a lot of little guys think that they are big guys, and that’s how the GOP gets votes.

    Here endeth the lesson

    1. Matt says:

      Buddy listen up,

      I don’t agree across the board with the GOP, but the DFL is doing you absolutely no favors by “protecting you” from big business. Look at this country crumbling beneath itself and everything is attributed to the big government choking out the jobs and freedom that made this country great in the name of protecting the poor or middle class. It’s not working and it’s time to go back to the economic and social freedom that made this country great.

      Do you not have the personal responsibility to look after yourself and those around you and you need the government to do it for you? Quit making excuses for failure and be a little more accountable. It’s the banks fault for selling me an arm, or the cell phone companies fault for making me sign a 2 year contract.


    2. @ The Truth says:

      Always support the big guys? Who bailed out Detriot? People like you need to educate yourself, if you are going to be making accusitions like this. It does no one any good when you spread lies and BS. Never mind, I guess that would stifle the democratic party as a whole.

      FYI You should use a more honest screen name like “head in the sand”

      1. Matt says:

        Let’s not forget what the DFL has done over and over for trail lawyers, wall street, big labor and all things green. Both sides definitely have their faults at least the GOP at it’s core inspires growth where as the DFL inspires redistribution.

    3. dan says:

      @ Truth

      How were you disadvantaged in life? Did you go to public High School? Did you work hard to get good grades and get a scholarship to college or do like most of us and work your way through college. Do you really think that every successful person had a silver spoon in their mouth.
      If you were born and raised in the US you have the same chances in life as 99% of people, its just what choices you make in life that makes the difference.

  6. Dan says:

    The Dems have always supported the trial lawyers and want to make the Statute of Limitations as long as possible. Look at the new Health Care law that didnt even touch on malpractice, fraud and intolerant trial lawyers. How on Earth can you think that 4 years isnt enough time to file a lawsuit?

    1. @ Dan says:

      That’s because a majority of them were trial lawyers.

  7. Pavel says:

    I heard these same arguments in Sweden and Norway nearly 40 years ago. You know what? They have a great system, but they tax the weathly to pay for that system. Some of you Republicans want to give the wealthy and big business tax breaks so they don’t have to pay the taxes due them. You can’t have it both ways: Either tax the wealthy or tax big business. Your ideiology is screwed up! Grow up and face the music! Obviously, many of you bought into the Reagan philosophy of “trickle down economics”…..and I mean “TRICKLE DOWN” ’cause there ain’t nothing for the lower income people. There is proof in the “pudding”……check the facts!

  8. Pavel says:

    This was the big discussion in Sweden and Norway about 40 years ago. You know what? The result is they tax the wealthy at an extremely high rate. You can’t have it both ways. You must either tax the wealthy or the BIG corporations. Some of you Republicans bought into the Reagan philosophy ( I don’t even think he believed in it) of “trickle down economics”. Trickle down is right because there is virtually nothing left by the time it gets to the poor.

    It is time we narrowed the economic gap between the great wealth and the extreme poor of our country. The wealthy should be eager to narrow that range unless they are simply “greedy”. .

    1. @ Pavel says:

      Get some pride you freeloader. By the way Reagan was a genius and a god sent for this country, you should not be allowed to say his name. You are a Loser.

      1. Seer says:

        How come when anybody suggest that the rich should pay their fair share of taxes, the person who suggests it is called a freeloader. What is wrong with wanting EVERYBODY to pay their fair share. No more tax breaks and loopholes for the rich.

        1. @ Seer says:

          pay their fair share? the average rich person pays 55% in taxes already. What in the phuc do you think is their fair share?

          1. Seer says:

            Lol! You can’t just make up stuff like that and pass it as fact. So, you’re saying that, with all the loopholes available to them, and the lawyers and firms available to them, and all the tax breaks available to them, the number that you’re going with is 55%. Where did you get that number from and in what context are you using it in?

      2. Poor and Getting Poorer says:

        Ronnie Reagan okayed raising the debt ceiling 17 times during his administration. Hardly genius status.

    2. dan says:

      @ Pavel,

      What happens to many of the big Lottery winners? They end up broke and lives in shambles. if you dont work hard for your money you dont respect it. If you want to wait for a handout, so be it but dont expect everyone to adopt your program. Or on the other hand if the USA is so bad please do us all a favor and move to Sweden or Norway

  9. @ Pavel says:

    You people just don’t understand. If you took all the money in this country and divided it evenly to everyone. In less then five years time the people with money today, would have it again and the poor would have nothing AGAIN!!!!

    GET A CLUE!!!

  10. AL says:

    GOP has nothing good to offer. They are the party of hatred, based on fear.

    1. @ Al says:

      Democrats are a party of freeloaders and theives, disguised under the word “TAX”

      I will agree with you it is becomimg hatred, because worthless people like you have taken advantage of us for far too long, and it’s getting real old.

  11. Adam Smith says:

    The Constitution starts with the word “We”, not me. We would all be better off meeting in the middle. For the Tea Partiers and fiscal conservatives, the middle is where they are. For the Democrats, it’s where they are.

    The truth is, we aren’t going anywhere if American business doesn’t start making American jobs. It makes no sense to have $4 billion in tax credits for the oil industry. It doesn’t make sense to balance a budget on the backs of the poor. It doesn’t make sense to support policies that degrade the middle class. It doesn’t make sense to endanger the environment for our own greed. It doesn’t make sense to dig in one’s heels.

    I agree that capitalism is a preferred economic system, but if history has taught us anything, it is that unbridled, unfettered capitalism does not work. See the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of the 1800’s, buying on margin that led to the Great Depression in the 1930’s, and the lack of regulation that caused our current Recession.
    Compromise, hard work and dedication to solving problems is our best chance. “My way or the highway” will lead to ruin.
    Ask the Romans.

    1. Seer says:

      The most common sense thing I’ve read about politics in a long time. Thumbs up.

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