Apologies, but I’m having a law geek moment in this post. I’ve been wondering whether it was really going to happen, but I received unofficial confirmation that the Governor signed HB 2585 yesterday.
It’s one of those technical bills on its face. But it makes major pro-consumer changes to class action procedure rules in Oregon. The bill simply eliminates Oregon Rule of Civil Procedure 32K.
That rule created a major barrier to consumer class actions. Under Oregon’s Unlawful Trade Practices Act, a defrauded consumer can sue for the greater of actual damages or $200. Before passage of HB 2585, consumers in class actions could only recover their actual damages. That was the killer provision in ORCP 32K that HB 2585 eliminated.
ORCP 32K effectively stopped most consumer class actions in small-damage claims. Now consumers will be allowed to recover their statutory damages of $200 simply by showing that they suffered a loss of money as a result of a reckless violation of the Unlawful Trade Practices Act. The change applies to all cases in which a judgment has not been entered.
The change means that consumers will have a powerful tool to fight the nickle and diming method of illegal charges that bleed us dry and enrich bad actors.
Big yay from these quarters.