Committee on Rules

May 10, 1999 (5:30 p.m.)

Amendments Submitted to H.R. 775 Year 2000 Readiness and Responsibility Act

(in alphabetical order)

3. Berman Adds a new section to Title I prohibiting sellers of information technology products from taking gross economic advantage of those impacted by the year 2000 problem, and to encourage sellers of information technology products to make such products being used by small businesses year 2000 compliant. Requires that where an information technology product seller sells such a product to a business, within 60 days of receiving notice from the business, the product seller shall make the product year 2000 compliant if doing so is practicable. The seller must certify that (1) pursuant to a contract, written agreement or applicable state law, the seller is not obligated to render the product year 2000 compliant; (2) a practicable method of rendering the product year 2000 compliant is not available; or (3) the correction rendering the product year 2000 compliant is provided at a cost no greater than the actual cost to the seller. The seller must also certify that the correction is being provided at the least costly and most practicable manner available.

9. Davis (VA) Defines what types of damages are covered under the bill thereby giving uniformity to the legislation, and eliminates possible confusions by courts in states that allow for other types of monetary awards, such as restitution or discouragement of profit; and changes the effective date from February 22, 1999 to January 1, 1999.

10. Davis (VA) Modifies section 303 (1) to correct a mistake introduced into the text of H.R. 775 when technical and conforming changes were made to the bill ordered reported by the Committee. 8. Ehlers Excludes all products manufactured on or after January 1, 1995 from the Act.

4. Jackson-Lee Adds clarifying language that states that the "particularity" requirement in section 101 still allows the notification to be drafted using laymanís terms without specialized and technical details.

5. Jackson-Lee Removes the heightened burden of persuasion required of plaintiffs to gain access to punitive damages (clear and convincing evidence), and reverts it back to the general standard (preponderance of the evidence).

6. Jackson-Lee Sunsets the provisions in the bill after two years.

11. Lofgren/Conyers/Boucher Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute. Provides for specific pleading requirements, a duty to mitigate damages, and limits class action claims to those involving material defects; specifies that contracts shall be fully enforceable and that defendants may raise the defense of impossibility or commercial impracticability, notwithstanding any changes in state law after January 1, 1999; provides that in tort and other non-contractual cases, there shall be a reasonable apportionment of liability by co-defendants and limits plaintiffs from asserting claims for economic damages that are not covered by contract. Eliminates sections that (1) created an unprecedented defense for undefined conduct, namely, "reasonable efforts"; (2) placed various limitations and dollar caps on the collection of punitive damages; (3) capped the liability of officers and directors; (4) federalized class actions; and (5) mandated a "loser pays" mechanism.

7. Moran (VA) Exempts all claims, counterclaims, cross-claims, and third-party claims that arise out of an underlying action for personal injury.

1. Nadler Strikes the section of the bill that limits class action lawsuits.

2. Nadler Strikes the section of the bill that requires notice of the action be sent to each member of the class by U.S. Mail, return receipt requested, in addition to any other notice required by federal or state law.

12. Scott Strikes Section 203 "Protections of Persons from Liability not Anticipated in Year 2000 Contracts" and replaces the section with language relating to "Breach of Contract Principles." The new Section sets forth provisions to deal with year 2000 claims involving a breach of contract where it has been alleged that goods or services contracted for have not been provided.

13. Scott Strikes Section 304 relating to "Damages Limitation."

14. Scott Adds a new definition under Section 4 relating to "commercial loss" and amends the definition as it pertains to "Year 2000 CLAIM" thereby exempting consumers from the application of the bill.

15. Scott Amends Section 4 to add subsection (e) to exempt the application of the bill to products sold on or after May 1, 1999.

16. Scott Amends Section 4 relating to the application of the Act to provide for an exemption for consumers from the application of the bill.

17. Scott Amends Title III, Section 301 relating to Proportionate Liability to exclude consumers from the application of this section.

* Summaries derived from information submitted by the amendment sponsors.