California has once again been ranked the #1 “Judicial Hellhole” in America by the American Tort Reform Foundation (ATRF). This is the third time in four years that California has claimed the title. The exception was last year, when New York stole the top ranking due to “monumentally egregious corruption” in the city’s asbestos court.
But, gloriously, California has reclaimed the top judicial hellhole prize again in 2015. And how did we do that? According to the ATRF, California has “a legislature hugely influenced by plaintiffs’ lawyers and checked only by an occasionally practical Governor.” To prove this point, the ATRF pointed out that California’s legislature proposed over 2,300 bills and sent 941 of them to the Governor’s desk. And, of those, 808 were signed into law. For those keeping score, that’s an 86% conversion score.
All of these new laws churned out by “hyperactive lawmakers and regulators” translates into over 1,000,000 new lawsuits filed in California state courts each year. The ATRF particularly cites the surge in disability access lawsuits in California, which stem from the state’s generous civil rights laws that award both damages and attorneys’ fees to plaintiffs. With over 40% of the nation’s disability cases being filed in California, we have a “cottage industry” of plaintiffs’ lawyers that “browbeat small business owners” across our state, says the ATRF.
You can read ATRF’s full 2015-2016 report on California here.