| Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 1139 (is) To amend title 49, United States Code, relating to civil penalties for unruly passengers of air carriers and to provide for the protection of employees providing air safety information, and for other purposes. [Introduced in Senate] %%Filenam...
S. 1139 (is) To amend title 49, United States Code, relating to civil penalties for unruly passengers of air carriers and to provide for the protection of employees providing air safety information, and for other purposes. [Introduced in Senate] %%Filenam...
Calendar No. 125 106th CONGRESS 1st Session S. 1138 _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To regulate interstate commerce by making provision for dealing with losses arising from Year 2000 Problem-related failures that may disrupt communications, intermodal transportation, and other matters affecting interstate commerce. _______________________________________________________________________ May 27, 1999 Read the second time and placed on the calendar Calendar No. 125 106th CONGRESS 1st Session S. 1138 To regulate interstate commerce by making provision for dealing with losses arising from Year 2000 Problem-related failures that may disrupt communications, intermodal transportation, and other matters affecting interstate commerce. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES May 26, 1999 Mr. McCain (for himself, Mr. Dodd, Mr. Wyden, Mr. Hatch, Mrs. Feinstein, Mr. Gorton, Mr. Bennett, Mr. Lott, Mr. Abraham, Mr. Frist, Mr. Burns, Mr. Santorum, Mr. Smith of Oregon, and Mr. Lieberman) introduced the following bill; which was read the first time May 27, 1999 Read the second time and placed on the calendar _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To regulate interstate commerce by making provision for dealing with losses arising from Year 2000 Problem-related failures that may disrupt communications, intermodal transportation, and other matters affecting interstate commerce. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF SECTIONS. (a) Short title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Y2K Act''. (b) Table of Sections.--The table of sections for this Act is as follows: Sec. 1. Short title; table of sections. Sec. 2. Findings and purposes. Sec. 3. Definitions. Sec. 4. Application of Act. Sec. 5. Punitive damages limitations. Sec. 6. Proportionate liability. Sec. 7. Pre-litigation notice. Sec. 8. Pleading requirements. Sec. 9. Duty to mitigate. Sec. 10. Application of existing impossibility or commercial impracticability doctrines. Sec. 11. Damages limitation by contract. Sec. 12. Damages in tort claims. Sec. 13. State of mind; bystander liability; control. Sec. 14. Appointment of special masters or magistrate judges for Y2K actions. Sec. 15. Y2K actions as class actions. SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES. (a) Findings.--The Congress finds that: (1)(A) Many information technology systems, devices and programs are not capable of recognizing certain dates in 1999 and after December 31, 1999, and will read dates in the year 2000 and thereafter as if those dates represent the year 1900 or thereafter or will fail to process dates after December 31, 1999. (B) If not corrected, the problem described in subparagraph (A) and resulting failures could incapacitate systems that are essential to the functioning of markets, commerce, consumer products, utilities, Government, and safety and defense systems, in the United States and throughout the world. (2) It is in the national interest that producers and users of technology products concentrate their attention and resources in the time remaining before January 1, 2000, on assessing, fixing, testing, and developing contingency plans to address any and all outstanding year 2000 computer date-change problems, so as to minimize possible disruptions associated with computer failures. (3)(A) Because year 2000 computer date-change problems may affect virtually all businesses and others users of technology products to some degree, there is a substantial likelihood that actual or potential year 2000 failures will prompt a significant volume of litigation, much of it insubstantial (B) The litigation described in subparagraph (A) would have a range of undesirable effects, including the following: (i) It would threaten to waste technical and financial resources that are better devoted to curing year 2000 computer date-change problems and ensuring that systems remain or become operational. (ii) It could threaten the network of valued and trusted business and customer relationships that are important to the effective functioning of the national economy. (iii) It would strain the Nation's legal system, causing particular problems for the small businesses and individuals who already find that system inaccessible because of its complexity and expense. (iv) The delays, expense, uncertainties, loss of control, adverse publicity, and animosities that frequently accompany litigation of business disputes could exacerbate the difficulties associated with the date change and work against the successful resolution of those difficulties. (4) It is appropriate for the Congress to enact legislation to assure that Y2K problems do not unnecessarily disrupt interstate commerce or create unnecessary caseloads in Federal courts and to provide initiatives to help businesses prepare and be in a position to withstand the potentially devastating economic impact of Y2K. (5) Resorting to the legal system for resolution of Y2K problems is not feasible for many businesses and individuals who already find the legal system inaccessible, particularly small businesses and individuals who already find the legal system inaccessible, because of its complexity and expense. (6) The delays, expense, uncertainties, loss of control, adverse publicity, and animosities that frequently accompany litigation of business disputes can only exacerbate the difficulties associated with the Y2K date change, and work against the successful resolution of those difficulties. (7) Concern about the potential for liability--in particular, concern about the substantial litigation expense associated with defending against even the most insubstantial lawsuits--is prompting many persons and businesses with technical expertise to avoid projects aimed at curing year 2000 computer date-change problems. (8) A proliferation of frivolous Y2K lawsuits by opportunistic parties may further limit access to courts by straining the resources of the legal system and depriving deserving parties of their legitimate rights to relief. (9) Congress encourages businesses to approach their Y2K disputes responsibly, and to avoid unnecessary, time-consuming and costly litigation about Y2K failures, particularly those that are not material. Congress supports good faith negotiations between parties when there is a dispute over a Y2K problem, and, if necessary, urges the parties to enter into voluntary, non-binding mediation rather than litigation. (b) Purposes.--Based upon the power of the Congress under Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the Constitution of the United States, the purposes of this Act are-- (1) to establish uniform legal standards that give all businesses and users of technology products reasonable incentives to solve Y2K computer date-change problems before they develop; (2) to encourage continued Y2K remediation and testing efforts by providers, suppliers, customers, and other contracting partners; (3) to encourage private and public parties alike to resolve Y2K disputes by alternative dispute mechanisms in order to avoid costly and time-consuming litigation, to initiate those mechanisms as early as possible, and to encourage the prompt identification and correction of Y2K problems; and (4) to lessen the burdens on interstate commerce by discouraging insubstantial lawsuits while preserving the ability of individuals and businesses that have suffered real injury to obtain complete relief. SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS. In this Act: (1) Y2K action.--The term ``Y2K action''-- (A) means a civil action commenced in any Federal or State court, or any agency board of contract appeal proceeding, in which the plaintiff's alleged harm or injury resulted from a Y2K failure; (B) includes a civil action commenced in any Federal or State court by a governmental entity when acting in a commercial or contracting capacity; but (C) does not include an action brought by a governmental entity acting in a regulatory, supervisory, or enforcement capacity. (2) Y2K failure.--The term ``Y2K failure'' means failure by any device or system (including any computer system and any microchip or integrated circuit embedded in another device or product), or any software, firmware, or other set or collection of processing instructions to process, to calculate, to compare, to sequence, to display, to store, to transmit, or to receive year-2000 date-related data, including failures-- (A) to deal with or account for transitions or comparisons from, into, and between the years 1999 and 2000 accurately; (B) to recognize or accurately to process any specific date in 1999, 2000, or 2001; or (C) accurately to account for the year 2000's status as a leap year, including recognition and processing of the correct date on February 29, 2000. (3) Government entity.--The term ``government entity'' means an agency, instrumentality, or other entity of Federal, State, or local government (including multijurisdictional agencies, instrumentalities, and entities). (4) Material defect.--The term ``material defect'' means a defect in any item, whether tangible or intangible, or in the provision of a service, that substantially prevents the item or service from operating or functioning as designed or according to its specifications. The term ``material defect'' does not include a defect that-- (A) has an insignificant or de minimis effect on the operation or functioning of an item or computer program; (B) affects only a component of an item or program that, as a whole, substantially operates or functions as designed; or (C) has an insignificant or de minimis effect on the efficacy of the service provided. (5) Personal injury.--The term ``personal injury'' means physical injury to a natural person, including-- (A) death as a result of a physical injury; and (B) mental suffering, emotional distress, or similar injuries suffered by that person in connection with a physical injury. (6) State.--The term ``State'' means any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and any other territory or possession of the United States, and any political subdivision thereof. (7) Contract.--The term ``contract'' means a contract, tariff, license, or warranty. (8) Alternative dispute resolution.--The term ``alternative dispute resolution'' means any process or proceeding, other than adjudication by a court or in an administrative proceeding, to assist in the resolution of issues in controversy, through processes such as early neutral evaluation, mediation, minitrial, and arbitration. SEC. 4. APPLICATION OF ACT. (a) General Rule.--This Act applies to any Y2K action brought in a State or Federal court after January 1, 1999, for a Y2K failure occurring before January 1, 2003, including any appeal, remand, stay, or other judicial, administrative, or alternative dispute resolution proceeding in such an action. (b) No New Cause of Action Created.--Nothing in this Act creates a new cause of action, and, except as otherwise explicitly provided in this Act, nothing in this Act expands any liability otherwise imposed or limits any defense otherwise available under Federal or State law. (c) Claims for Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Excluded.--This Act does not apply to a claim for personal injury or for wrongful death. (d) Contract Preservation.-- (1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2), in any Y2K action any written contractual term, including a limitation or an exclusion of liability, or a disclaimer of warranty, shall be strictly enforced unless the enforcement of that term would manifestly and directly contravene applicable State law embodied in any statute in effect on January 1, 1999, specifically addressing that term. (2) Interpretation of contract.--In any Y2K action in which a contract to which paragraph (1) applies is silent as to a particular issue, the interpretation of the contract as to that issue shall be determined by applicable law in effect at the time the contract was executed. (e) Preemption of State Law.--This Act supersedes State law to the extent that it establishes a rule of law applicable to a Y2K action that is inconsistent with State law, but nothing in this Act implicates, alters, or diminishes the ability of a State to defend itself against any claim on the basis of sovereign immunity. (f) Application With Year 2000 Information and Readiness Disclosure Act.--Nothing in this Act supersedes any provision of the Year 2000 Information and Readiness Disclosure Act.
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