Rep. Matt Fridy receives Business Champion Award

Published 2:04 pm Thursday, February 23, 2017

From Staff Reports

Shelby County Rep. Matt Fridy received the Business Champion Award on Feb. 21 for his expert handling of legislation to curb the proliferation of deceptive-trade practices class action lawsuits that could have slipped into court due to a technical ruling by a federal appellate court.

Senate Bill 270 updated the Deceptive Trade Practices Act. It was an important part of the Business Council of Alabama’s 2016 State Legislative Agenda and was passed by nearly unanimous votes in the Senate and House.

The award was presented by BCA President and CEO William J. Canary, Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama President and CEO Jeremy Arthur, and Greater Shelby Council Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kirk Mancer.

“Rep. Fridy is due a heartfelt thank you from the business community for this decisive clarification to a law that, unfixed, could have had a dangerous effect on business,” Canary said.

“Rep. Fridy expertly handled the bill in committee and advocated for the bill on the House floor for more than six hours during a filibuster on an unrelated issue,” Mancer said.

SB 270 was needed due to an opinion by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that threatened to expose Alabama businesses to class-action lawsuits by private parties under the Alabama Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

SB 270 reestablished the original legislative intent of the ADTPA that the limitation barring private parties from bringing class actions is a “substantive” one. The 11th Circuit ruling that created this problem interpreted this aspect of the statute to be “procedural” rather than “substantive,” which created a serious threat of increased litigation for businesses.

Fridy is a Republican from Montevallo. The legislation was sponsored by Sen. Phil Williams, R-Rainbow City, and Rep. David Faulkner, R-Birmingham, who were previous recipients of Business Champion Awards.

The Business Champion Award recognizes legislators for sponsorship and support of policies that better Alabama’s business climate and the lives of employees, families, and citizens.

The BCA, Alabama’s foremost voice for business, is a non-partisan statewide business association representing the interests and concerns of nearly one million working Alabamians through its member companies and its partnership with the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama. The BCA is Alabama’s exclusive affiliate to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers.