California is a sue-happy goldmine
These days, California is known as much for its great weather and nice beaches as it is for its high levels of poverty and inhospitable business climate. Among the biggest factors aggravating the last two is the Golden State’s reputation as a hotbed for litigation and persistent ability to uphold that reputation.
Last month, the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform issued the findings of a national survey assessing experiences and perceptions of state litigation climates. Those surveyed were 1,321 in-house general counsel, senior litigators or attorneys and other senior executives who have had recent litigation in experience in the states they evaluate.
For the third time since 2012, California was ranked 47th out of the 50 states in terms of overall fairness and reasonableness of its liability systems. It also ranked last in treatment of tort and contract litigation, 49th for the quality of its appeals process and 48th for its treatment of class action lawsuits. Los Angeles and San Francisco were particularly cited for being among the cities and counties with the least fair and reasonable litigation environments in the nation.
“California is a magnet for abusive lawyer-driven litigation, but rather than consider any reforms, the state Legislature is laying down the welcome mat for even more lawsuits,” said ILR President Lisa Rickard.
Indeed, California consistently tops the list of assessments of national litigation climates.
The state has ranked number one in the annual “Judicial Hellholes” report by the American Tort Reform Foundation for three of the past five years. This reputation is earned thanks to the high number of new laws passed every year and the hosting of dubious class action lawsuits like complaining that “evaporated cane sugar” on soft drink labels is really a reference to sugar.
Over the years, California has also seen widespread abuses of laws like the California Environmental […]