The verdict is in and it's not good. California is one of the most litigious states in the nation.
How bad is it? It's bad. More than one million lawsuits are filed every year. While some of these lawsuits have merit, many do not and these lawsuits are costing each and every one of us.
California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA) is a nonpartisan grassroots movement of concerned citizens and businesses who are fighting against lawsuit abuse in California.
Published on Tuesday, 26 November 2013 10:05
With Thanksgiving coming up, we should all take some time to be thankful for what we have. Our nation, despite some problems, is still the greatest nation in the world.
One of those problems is the ongoing abuse of our legal system. It seems like there is not a day, week or year that goes by that we cannot point to an example of the utter abuse of our legal system. Why do we continue to allow the civil justice system to be abused for personal gain?
This year is no exception and lawsuit abuse turkeys come in all sizes. This year, we decided to give out Legal Turkey Awards. Here are the winners:
1. Unpaid Intern Lawsuits - This is probably just the beginning of a slew of intern-related lawsuits.
2. Yelp Class Action - Voluntary reviewers means no payment necessary.
3. CA Personal Privacy Initiative - This might have gone away for now, but it won’t be gone forever.
4. The Initiative Attacking MICRA - This is an attempt to make it easier and more lucrative for lawyers to file lawsuits against health care providers and generate more in legal fees.
5. The 13 year Old Lead Paint Lawsuit – With little scientific evidence in their favor, trial lawyers are moving the goal posts to make it easier for them to score a massive verdict in this case.
6. Wage and Hour Lawsuits - For the fifth year in a row we have seen these lawsuits continue to grow. Is there no end in sight?
7. ADA Lawsuits - Despite minor reform in 2012, the abuse continues and seems to be targeted at low income communities and minority business owners.
8. Food Lawsuits - California is the epicenter for food lawsuits. Between 2008-20012 over 186 class actions have been filed in CA alone, more than any other state.
9. Proposition 65 Shakedowns - Although Assemblyman Mike Gatto’s AB 227 will help, the Prop. 65 shakedown lawsuits continue.
So there you have it. While there has been some legal reform in 2013, we still have a long way to go. For every inch we crawl forward, the trial lawyers are constantly looking for new avenues to sue and everything and anything is on the table.
Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your time with family and friends.
How does California’s litigation climate affect job creation in our state? The 150 CALA supporters who attended our 20th Anniversary luncheon heard a story about the ways lawsuit abuse hurts the state economy from Andrew Puzder, CEO of CKE Enterprises, which owns Carl’s Jr., the Green Burrito and Hardee’s Restaurants.
With his real world experience and legal training, Puzder was able to describe in detail the burden of lawsuit abuse on California businesses. “I can tell you unequivocally,” he said, “our state’s harmful litigation environment and its punitive, misguided, and outdated framework put California at a competitive and economic disadvantage compared to other states and countries.” As an example, he said that it was easier today for his company to open a new restaurant in Siberia than it is in Los Angeles.
Of particular concern for Puzder are “private attorney class action suits,” in which a private attorney can sue a business to enforce a state law. Such lawsuits, which occur almost exclusively in California, have cost his company $20 million in defense expenses – imposing a huge drain on the company.
When major corporations such as CKE Enterprises are greatly affected by lawsuit abuse, one must wonder about its effect on California’s small businesses that lack the financial resources to fight abusive lawsuits.
In his remarks, Puzder also thanked CALA for the work we’ve done in aggressively advocating for reforms to curb lawsuit abuse. The 50,000 California CALA supporters, he said, demonstrate our effectiveness in representing “real people who’ve been the victims of lawsuit abuse and who want to reform a system that rewards such abuse,” and he urged CALA to continue to “charge ahead.”
While there’s a long way to go, Puzder said, CALA is working to turn California around. And we won’t stop until California gets the legal reform it needs.
Published on Wednesday, 28 August 2013 17:42
Ted Apodaca, editor of News Enterprise, covered our packed CALA small business roundtable in Seal Beach.
His article, "Lawsuit Abuse Talk for Local Businesses" begins:
"California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse held a small business round table discussion on Friday at Spaghettini Restaurant in Seal Beach.
State Assemblyman for the 72nd District Travis Allen was among the guest speakers and Los Alamitos City Councilman Dean Grose and Cypress Mayor Pro Tem Leroy Mills were among those in attendance. Allen spoke of upcoming legislation that could help curb the lawsuit abuse in California, mostly coming as a result of frivolous lawsuits for Prop 65 and American’s For Disability Act violations.
Part of the problem, according to CALA and Allen, is that businesses have no option to fix problems if they are found to be in violation. This has led to what Allen referred to as “shakedown” lawsuits by lawyers looking for a costly settlement from businesses. Allen said that while California has eight percent of the nations population, it has 40 percent of the ADA lawsuit filings.
“Businesses need to band together to be stronger against these frivolous lawsuits,” Allen said.
Read entire aritcle here.
Orange County Register's Seal Beach reporter Annie Zak covered our recent well attended and spirited small business roundtable at Spaghattini -
Here is what she had to say:
Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen spoke to a roomful of small business owners and city officials in Seal Beach earlier this month in conjunction with the group California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse to discuss how to end frivolous lawsuits that end up hurting small businesses, sometimes to the point of closing permanently.
“We don't want to live in a society that is abusive in our legal environment,” said Allen, insisting that legal change needs to be a bipartisan effort.
Tom Scott, president of the California branch of CALA, said that though legitimate suits are filed against businesses, there is also a lot of misuse.
“It's not just about lawsuit abuse. I'm more interested in what litigation costs,” Scott said. “Legal reform, to me, has to be talked about in the same breath as taxes (and) regulation.”
The group's message was that money saved on litigation could be used to save and create jobs, citing that if a mom-and-pop business uses all its money on a lawsuit and has to shut down, its employees are hurt, as well.
Read the entire story and learn how you can get involved here