CJAC: Civil Justice Association of California

Class-Action Lawyer May Be Tech's Least Friended Man

Posted on 04/06/2015 @ 02:00 PM

The New York Times recently reported that since the early 2000’s, Jay Edelson, principal of Edelson PC, a Chicago-based class-action law firm, claims to have won over $1 billion in settlements against tech firms over privacy violations. Those sued by Edelson include tech giants such as Amazon, Apple, and Google.

Edelson’s critics condemn his firm for creating a niche industry applying old laws to new technologies, costing tech businesses millions of dollars each year.

Edelson recently filed a suit against Facebook contending that the social media site has “secretly amassed the world’s largest privately held database of consumer biometrics data.” In the suit, Edelson claims that Facebook violates an Illinois law called the Biometric Information Privacy Act by storing images of its users’ faces without their permission.

A Facebook spokeswoman, in an email to the Times, said, “[t]his lawsuit is without merit and we will defend ourselves vigorously.” She noted that the face-tagging feature could be turned off at which point the data to suggest tags to other people is deleted.

Another example, the Times reports, is Edelson’s suit against Spokeo, a fee-based site that collects data on people from online and offline sources. Spokeo, on its website says it’s a “search engine that organizes White Pages listings, Public Records and Social Network Information to help you safely find & learn about people.”

Edelson sued under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, another old law meant to keep credit reporting agencies from providing inaccurate information that could make it harder for consumers to borrow money or get a job.

The United States Supreme Court for the Ninth Circuit ruled there was indeed standing to sue for damages. Spokeo has since appealed the decision to the United States Supreme Court.

If the case goes forward, Spokeo could face billions of dollars in damages. John Nadolenco, partner with Mayer Brown in Los Angeles who is defending Spokeo, told the Times, the damages would be “annihilating.”

To read the full story, click here.

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ATRA Launches New Asbestos Litigation Website

Posted on 03/09/2015 @ 02:00 PM

The American Tort Reform Association announced the launch of a new website to serve as a clearing house for information about asbestos litigation: www.asbestoslitigationwatch.org. It is also designed to serve as something of a counterweight to the asbestos law firm websites that recruit clients.

Since 1986, ATRA has been working to bring greater fairness, predictability and efficiency to America's civil justice system. This website will focus directly on asbestos claim procedures and rooting out misrepresentation in the system.

The current asbestos litigation system is out of control, notes the website, and the “process is treating injured persons unequally and taking compensation away from legitimate future claimants.” The website includes infographs regarding the state of the current system, along with news and other resources.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Darren McKinney, Director of Communications, ATRA, at dmckinney@atra.org.

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Register Now for the CJAC/CALA Day at the Capitol

Posted on 01/27/2015 @ 01:00 PM

The Civil Justice Association of California and California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse cordially invite you to join us at our 2015 Day at the Capitol, Tuesday, March 24, 2015 in Sacramento, CA.

We encourage your attendance at one of our most important events of the year, our 2015 Day at the Capitol! The Day at the Capitol is an opportunity to bring real-world stories of lawsuit abuse to Legislators in Sacramento. Please join us as we continue to advocate for the improvement of California’s civil liability system.

The day begins at noon with guest speakers and lunch followed by Legislator visits and an evening reception.

RSVP by sending your name, email, and address so we may research your representatives to cjac@cjac.org. Click here for more information.

We hope to see you there!

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California and New York City Asbestos Litigation Court Declared Most Unfair in the Nation by ATRA

Posted on 12/16/2014 @ 01:00 PM

On Tuesday, December 16, 2014, the American Tort Reform Association released its annual report of jurisdictions that apply laws in an unfair and unbalanced manner. Among the top of the list were California, the West Virginia Supreme Court, the Florida Supreme Court, Madison County, Illinois, the Missouri Supreme Court, and Louisiana. However, New York City Asbestos Litigation (NYCAL) claimed the top spot.

California, which had held the top spot in 2013, dropped a spot this year. The report references a long-running case against the former manufacturers of lead paint that resulted in a $1.15 billion verdict, and a new case brought by Santa Clara and Orange Counties against the makers of prescription painkillers. Both cases have been brought under a public nuisance theory by private firms hired on contingency fees.

The report also included a Points of Light section, noting Judge George Hodges January ruling estimating Garlock Sealing Technologies’ asbestos liability at roughly $1 billion less than what plaintiff’s attorneys had hoped for.

To read the Legal Newsline article, click here.

To read the ATRA Judicial Hellholes report, click here.

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Bogus coffee burn photos lead to arrest of McDonald's customer for fraud

Posted on 11/10/2014 @ 03:00 PM

According to a recent California Department of Insurance press release, a Victorville woman was arrested on 21 felony counts of insurance and workers' compensation fraud, including submitting a fraudulent insurance claim, false statements, and false evidence associated with an alleged fraudulent claim against McDonald's for second-degree burns to her hand from spilled coffee.

She claimed that when handed a cup of coffee at a McDonald's drive-thru, the lid was not secured and the coffee spilled on her right hand. Her injury claim included photos of a hand with second-degree burns. However, detectives discovered that the photos had been copied from a hospital website.

In addition to the photos, the woman submitted counterfeit documentation for treatment that she claimed to have received from a local hospital.

The woman, by copying, then submitting the legitimate burn photos as her own, “attempted to make a profit from another person’s pain and suffering and for this she will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.

To read the press release, click here.

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