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      State House votes to alter Consumer Protection Act

      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 from before 2001. Sponsor Representative 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 Representative Sam Singh says the bill "serves only to further undermine our weakened consumer protection laws."