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 Thursday, 06 March 2014 09:59
Recently, the Los Angeles Times wrote on the issue of being a social host and the liability that comes with it, as the Supreme Court of California is expected to issue a ruling on a case dealing with this issue in March.
The case will determine whether young people who host underage drinking parties and charge an admission can be held liable if an intoxicated guest hurts himself or others, and could create a significant crack in the laws that that protect party hosts from alcohol-related lawsuits.
The case in question involved a 20 year old girl who decided to throw a party at an unoccupied rental home owned by her parents, without their permission. Word of the party spread and a lot of people who did not even know the host showed up. The attendees got drunk and one of the partygoers was asked to leave. Tragically, as he drove away, the individual ran over and killed another inebriated guest, a 19 year old student. The young man who hit and killed the inebriated guest pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 14 years in jail.
The boy’s parents sued both the party host and her parents for their liability in their son’s death. The trial court and an appeals court ruled that the girl was not legally responsible because she did not intend to profit from the $3 to $5 entrance fee she charged for the party, but merely used the fee to defray the cost of alcohol. Now the Supreme Court will have its say in March.
As one lawyer stated, "The question is: Will justice be served when parents who have no knowledge that a party is going on at their home are essentially vicariously liable because they have an 18 year old child who throws a party while they are gone?"
This tragic death serves to remind us all of the dangers of drinking and driving. But, should the Supreme Court hold the parents liable, will it really serve justice? Or will it simply create more opportunities for trial lawyers to find deep pockets to target when tragedy strikes?
Published on Tuesday, 18 February 2014 15:17
When it comes to elections, a friend of mine always says, “The world is run by those who show up,” and the point is obvious. I have been involved in politics and public policy for a long time and enjoy working with elected officials and businesses trying to find common ground. When discussing how lawsuit abuse hurts the economy, I find that the message is most powerful when officials can hear from business leaders and concerned citizens from within their district. After all, these are the people who determine whether or not to throw their representatives out of office in the next election.
As I have stated many times, California has a long way to go when it comes to being a business friendly state. For decades, this state has allowed lawsuit abuse to get worse and worse. It’s no wonder California was ranked the nation’s worse “Judicial Hellhole” for the last two years in a row.
That is why it is critical that people take the time to travel to Sacramento to make their voice heard and, more importantly, make their voices count. That is why CALA and the Civil Justice Association of California are having our Day at the Capitol on March 19th. This is a chance for people who believe stopping lawsuit abuse is a critical issue to get together and make their voices heard in Sacramento.
Legislators want to hear from their constituents. You are the people who are creating jobs in their districts and paying taxes that keep the government up and running.
Every candidate I meet is always talking about jobs. Well, stopping lawsuit abuse creates jobs. Businesses in our state spend way too much money on litigation – and each dollar they spend is a dollar they can’t spend hiring new workers and expanding.
So on March 19th, if you believe that legal reform is critical in creating jobs and making California a business friendly environment, then take a day to come to Sacramento and be a part of the CALA/CJAC Day at the Capitol. I promise you it will be time well spent. Remember, the world is run by people who show up.
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