Iowa AG seeks to ease lawsuits against businesses

Chris Rizo Feb. 4, 2009, 4:32pm

Tom Miller (D)

DES MOINES, Iowa (Legal Newsline)-Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller's office is seeking legislation that could generate a flood of consumer protection lawsuits.

It is currently difficult for Iowans to sue businesses over alleged fraud, a senior Miller aide told state lawmakers Wednesday.

The Democratic attorney general wants consumers to be able to file lawsuits under the state's consumer protection laws, just as his office can sue over alleged nefarious businesses.

Assistant Attorney General Bill Brock, who heads the consumer protection division in the attorney general's office, said that unlike in nearly every other state, if a consumer wins a suit in Iowa against a company, the business does not have to pay all the attorney fees.

"Iowans are really second-class citizens when it comes to consumer fraud," Brock told lawmakers. "Until you're a victim of consumer fraud, you don't know how awful it is in Iowa."

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