TCFA supports efforts to close the loophole in the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) that has enabled environmental activists to claim millions in taxpayer money by suing the EPA and settling out of court.
The EAJA was designed to level the playing field between private citizens and the vast resources of the federal government. EAJA allows plaintiffs to recover attorney fees and other costs from the federal government when they prevail in a case against the government or settle out of court.
Although EAJA was intended to protect citizens' rights, it has become a means for activist groups to target private citizens. While only businesses with a net worth of $7 million or less are eligible to participate in EAJA, any nonprofit, regardless of their net worth, is eligible for reimbursement. Radical environmental groups have filed more than 1,500 cases in a six year period, many of which were frivolous or filed on technicalities. EAJA litigation has become a specialization of these radical interest groups and their lawyers, making it easy for them to convince the government to settle and pay their fees rather than devoting time, staff and resources to a trial.