Calif. group praises lawsuit abuse report

Jessica M. Karmasek Mar. 9, 2011, 8:49am

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline) - The Civil Justice Association of California is praising a new report by the state's Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse that is aimed at showing how lawsuit abuse is hurting the state's economy.

The report, which was released Tuesday along with CALA's launching of its grassroots campaign "Bad Lawsuits Cost Good Jobs," claims various California laws relating to class actions, workplace and environmental regulations, and the Americans with Disabilities Act have cost people jobs, prevented businesses from growing, and delayed major projects that could have provided hundreds of jobs.

"The Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse have done a superb job of providing specific, real-world examples of lawsuits causing job loss and preventing economic growth," CJAC President Kim Stone said in a statement.

"This report is very timely as California's leaders are focusing on ways to get our economy going again. I would encourage them to take a close look at what is in this report and consider not only the economic impact but the basic human impact of lawsuit abuse and how much it can disrupt someone's life."

The CJAC points to one case, which was highlighted in CALA's report, involving a doughnut shop in Reedley, Calif.

The shop was sued for noncompliance with ADA even though the owner's daughter, who helps manage the shop, has been in a wheelchair her whole life and had no complaints about access. A nearby restaurant targeted by the same personal injury firm for ADA violations was forced to close.

In another example, a lawsuit filed over environmental concerns has blocked a solar energy project in Riverside County that would create 600 jobs and generate enough green energy to power 75,000 homes.

"The 'common-sense reforms' identified in the report -- leveling the playing field in class action suits, product liability reform, common-sense limits on punitive damages and practical ADA reform -- are proposals CJAC has continually advocated for," Stone said.

The CJAC is a non-profit, membership-supported coalition of citizens, taxpayers, businesses, local governments, professionals, manufacturers, financial institutions, insurers and medical organizations.

Founded in 1979, it is the only statewide association dedicated solely to improving California's civil liability system.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at

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