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State House votes to alter Consumer Protection Act

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The state House has passed legislation blocking certain insurance lawsuits under the Michigan Consumer Protection Act.

Consumers were prevented from suing insurance companies for fraud under the act starting in 2001. Majority Republicans say consumers could instead sue under the state's Insurance Code, but Democrats say the code offers fewer protections.

The bill that passed 57-49 Thursday prevents lawsuits over from before 2001. Sponsor Rep. Tom Leonard of Lansing says the bill clarifies the intention of the 2001 law.

Insurance companies support the legislation.

The bill follows a March court ruling that Citizens Insurance lied and wrongfully denied benefits to an ex-National Guard member. The court awarded the veteran's mother $2 million.

Democratic Rep. Sam Singh says the bill "serves only to further undermine our weakened consumer

protection laws."

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