American Tort Reform Association News

N.Y. asbestos bill continues to idle during gridlock; Finance Committee not discussing at today's meeting

By John O'Brien | Jun 5, 2018

ALBANY, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) - New York lawmakers won't discuss a bill targeting abuses in the asbestos compensation system during today's meeting of the Senate Finance Committee, where the bill, which is similar to legislation passed in 15 states, has sat for three months since being approved by the Judiciary Committee.

Three weeks after Silver conviction, NY lawmakers balking at asbestos reform

By Daniel Fisher | Jun 2, 2018

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) – Reform bills that would require asbestos plaintiffs to disclose all potential claims in court appear stalled in the New York legislature, three weeks after former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was convicted for a second time on charges stemming directly from the state’s scandal-prone asbestos court system.

Appeal to decide future of NYC asbestos court; Companies fed up with their treatment

By John O'Brien | May 3, 2018

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) – The fight over New York City’s controversial asbestos court is not over, as companies worried about their treatment there are likely to appeal an order that kept alive the possibility for even bigger verdicts.

Florida tops tort reform group's list of ‘Judicial Hellholes,' while California No. 2

By Jessica Karmasek | Dec 5, 2017

California, City of St. Louis Circuit Court, New York City’s asbestos court and Philadelphia round out the American Tort Reform Association’s top five this year.

New expert witness guidelines signed into law by Missouri Gov. Greitens

By Laura Halleman | Apr 6, 2017

Missouri has taken a step to move St. Louis off the top spot of the American Tort Reform Association's 2016 Judicial Hellholes list. Gov. Eric Greitens recently signed into law a bill that would raise the standard of expert witnesses allowed to testify in cases in the state.

Justice reform groups continue push for venue, jurisdiction bills in Missouri Legislature

By Taryn Phaneuf | Mar 15, 2017

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A recent Missouri Supreme Court ruling regarding jurisdiction that looks like a win for the business community doesn’t negate the need for legislation reforming the way the state’s courts settle venue and joinder matters, civil justice reform advocates say.

New ATRA program to tackle ‘deep-pocket jurisprudence’

By Jessica Karmasek | Feb 3, 2017

Victor Schwartz, general counsel for the American Tort Reform Association and an expert on tort law, argues some courts in recent years have stretched tort law to impose liability on an innocent party.

Missouri trial lawyers respond to St. Louis' 'hellhole' designation

By Glenn Minnis | Dec 20, 2016

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) -- The president of Missouri's plaintiffs lawyer organization says an annual report that this year singled out St. Louis as the jurisdiction most in need of legal reform is designed to scare state lawmakers.

Plaintiffs attorneys argue tort reform group’s ‘judicial hellholes’ report is ‘rigged’

By Jessica Karmasek | Dec 16, 2016

The Circuit Court for the City of St. Louis is the nation’s No. 1 “judicial hellhole,” according to the American Tort Reform Association’s 2016-17 report, meaning it is the “most unfair” in the nation in terms of handling civil litigation.

St. Louis court tops list of ‘judicial hellholes’ by tort reform group

By Jessica Karmasek | Dec 15, 2016

California, New York City’s asbestos court, Florida’s Supreme Court and South Florida, and New Jersey rounded out the American Tort Reform Association’s top five this year.

Groups want Third Circuit to enforce Flonase class action settlement against Louisiana AG

By Jessica Karmasek | Nov 7, 2016

The Washington Legal Foundation is among those calling on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to overturn a Pennsylvania federal court’s decision that, they argue, would undermine class-wide settlements by permitting plaintiff states to file copycat lawsuits despite benefiting from a settlement.

Sharp again defeats New Jersey class action over flat screens

By Noell Wolfgram Evans | Aug 17, 2016

CAMDEN, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - Sharp Electronics, for a second time, has defeated class action claims over its flat screen televisions brought before Judge William Martini of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Spalding basketball lawsuit an example of class-action abuse, tort reform group says

By Nancy Crist | Jul 12, 2016

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline)—A class-action lawsuit alleging the Spalding Neverflat basketball does not perform as advertised is cited by a civil justice reform organization as an example of the judicial abuse it is fighting to change.

California lawmaker to testify before House subcommittee on bill seeking to curb ADA lawsuit abuse

By Vimbai Chikomo | May 19, 2016

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – U.S. Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA), who is sponsoring the ACCESS (ADA Compliance for Customer Entry to Stores and Services) Act, is testifying before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Constitution and Civil Justice today on behalf of the bill he says will help stop plaintiffs’ lawyers from “trying to enrich themselves on the backs of the disabled.”

With Silver convicted, some N.Y. Dems pushing asbestos transparency bill

By Jessica Karmasek | Apr 11, 2016

The legislation, introduced by a group of Democrats last month, is more likely to pass now that former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver -- who was found guilty of corruption by a federal jury in November -- no longer is in power. Silver also worked at one of the most prominent asbestos law firms in the country, Weitz & Luxenberg PC.

Tort reform bill, passed by U.S. House, unlikely to become law

By Jacob Bielanski | Mar 29, 2016

The Fairness in Class Action Litigation and Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2016, which passed the House along largely partisan lines in January, most likely will be blocked by the Senate. If it does pass, it almost certainly will be vetoed by President Barack Obama.

California tops list of ‘judicial hellholes’ by tort reform group

By Jessica Karmasek | Dec 17, 2015

New York City’s asbestos court, Florida, Missouri and Illinois’ Madison County round out the American Tort Reform Association’s newest top five “most unfair.”

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