S.738 - Y2K Fairness in Litigation Act106th Congress (1999-2000)
Summary: S.738 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)
Introduced in Senate (03/25/1999)
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Title I: Prelitigation Procedures for Year 2000 Civil
Title II: Year 2000 Civil Actions Involving Contracts
Title III: Year 2000 Civil Actions Involving Tort and Other
Title IV: Class Actions Involving Year 2000 Claims
Title V: Effective Date
Y2K Fairness in Litigation Act - Title I: Prelitigation Procedures for Year 2000 Civil Actions - Requires the prospective plaintiff, before filing a year 2000 claim, except in an action for a claim that seeks only injunctive relief, to provide to each prospective defendant a written notice that identifies and describes with particularity: (1) any manifestation of a material defect alleged to have caused injury; (2) the injury allegedly suffered or reasonably risked; and (3) the relief or action sought.
Prohibits a prospective plaintiff from filing a year 2000 claim in Federal or state court until the expiration of 90 days after providing such notice, with exceptions. Requires each prospective defendant, within 30 days after receipt of the notice, to provide each prospective plaintiff a written statement that acknowledges receipt of the notice and describes any actions that the defendant will take, or has taken, to address the defect or injury identified.
Sets forth provisions regarding failure to respond, failure to provide notice, effective contractual waiting periods, sanctions for frivolous invocation of the stay provision, and time computations.
(Sec. 102) Authorizes either party, at any time during the 90-day notification period, to request the other party to use alternative dispute resolution. Provides that if, based upon that request, the parties enter into an agreement to use alternative dispute resolution, the parties may also agree to an extension of that 90-day period.
(Sec. 103) Requires the complaint, in any year 2000 civil action in which the plaintiff seeks an award of money damages, to state with particularity: (1) the nature and amount of each element of damages; and (2) the factual basis for the calculation of the damages.
Requires the complaint, in any year 2000 civil action in which the plaintiff alleges the product or service was defective, to: (1) identify with particularity the manifestations of the material defects; and (2) state with particularity the facts supporting the conclusion that the defects were material.
Sets forth provisions regarding state of mind, dismissal for failure to meet pleading requirements, stay of discovery, and preservation of evidence.
(Sec. 104) Bars recovery for any year 2000 claim on account of injury that the plaintiff could reasonably have avoided in light of any disclosure or other information with respect to which the plaintiff was, or reasonably should have been, aware. Directs that the damages awarded for any such claim exclude any amount that the plaintiff reasonably could have avoided.
Title II: Year 2000 Civil Actions Involving Contracts - Provides that all written contractual terms, including limitations or exclusions of liability or disclaimers of warranty, shall be fully enforceable in resolving a claim in any action in which a year 2000 claim is advanced.
Specifies that the interpretation of an issue in a contract with respect to which the contract is silent shall be determined by applicable law in effect at the time that the contract was entered into. Makes this provision inapplicable in any case in which a court determines that the contract as a whole is unenforceable due to an infirmity in the formation of the contract under then applicable law.
(Sec. 202) Sets forth provisions regarding evidence of reasonable efforts and impossibility or commercial impracticability.
Title III: Year 2000 Civil Actions Involving Tort and Other Noncontractual Claims - Makes a person against whom a final judgment is entered on a year 2000 claim solely liable for the portion of the judgment that corresponds to the percentage of that person's responsibility, with exceptions. Directs the court to instruct the jury to answer special interrogatories (or if there is no jury, to make findings as to each defendant and plaintiff and each of the other persons claimed to have caused or contributed to the plaintiff's loss) concerning the percentage of that person's responsibility, measured as a percentage of the total fault of all persons who caused or contributed to the total loss incurred by the plaintiff.
(Sec. 302) Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) state of mind and foreseeability of injury; (2) a reasonable efforts defense; and (3) limits on economic losses.
Title IV: Class Actions Involving Year 2000 Claims - Provides that, in any action involving a year 2000 claim that a product or service is defective, the action may be maintained as a class action in Federal or State court with respect to that claim only if: (1) the claim satisfies all other prerequisites established by applicable Federal or State law; and (2) the court finds that the alleged defect in the product or service was a material defect with respect to a majority of the class members.
Title V: Effective Date - Makes this Act effective January 1, 1999.