Calif. car dealer sues asbestos firm, calls its attorneys ‘shakedown artists’
Posted on 08/25/2014 @ 10:29 AM
Heather Isringhausen Gvillo at Legal Newsline recently reported that a California car dealership has filed a lawsuit alleging malicious prosecution against the Keller, Fishback & Jackson law firm for refusing to release the dealership from an asbestos wrongful death case despite allegedly having no evidence proving causation or liability.
To read the the entire article click here.
Trial Lawyers Are Overwhelming Majority of Contributors to Yes on 46 Campaign
Posted on 08/15/2014 @ 10:29 AM
In a recent article published by Fox & Hounds, Tom Scott reveals that the Yes on Prop 46 campaign has been overwhelming funded by trial lawyers. To date, the committee has raised just over $4 million dollars, with about half of that resulting from four major donors. These donors include the Consumer Attorneys Political Action Committee, and 3 other trial lawyer law firms.
Overall, over 97 percent of total contributions have come from trial lawyer firms, which are identified by their practice of personal injury lawsuits.
To read the the entire article click here.
Trial Lawyers Attack Medical Malpractice Caps
Posted on 07/24/2014 @ 10:29 AM
David Yates at Legal Newsline recently outlined the implications of Proposition 46, which seeks to raise the current cap on medical liability lawsuits to $1.1 million dollars with annual increases going forward.
Referencing an updated CMA report, Yates explains how the initiative, which would more than quadruple the current non-economic damages cap of $250,000, could also increase the cost of providing health care to Californians by nearly $10 billion per year, due to a higher number of medical lawsuits and jury awards. A similar increase in medical malpractice costs could force physicians to leave California for states where malpractice rates are more affordable. As a result, Californians would be left with increased health care costs and decreased access to care.
To read the the article, which also touches on the history of MICRA, click here.
SB 1188 Defeated!
Posted on 06/25/2014 @ 12:52 PM
Yesterday, CJAC’s Legislative Director, Katherine Pettibone, and a large coalition were able to defeat SB 1188 (Jackson)! This bill would have subsumed existing warranty law by significantly expanding tort liability against manufacturers and retailers. It would have encouraged class action lawsuits by allowing plaintiffs to sue long after a product’s warranty expires for any latent defect by claiming they would not have bought the product “if they had known”… about whatever the claimed problem was. This bill would have encouraged lawsuits on every product imaginable including, food, clothing, or any product years later. It is a priority bill for the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC) this year.
This bill was an attempt to expand the Unfair Competition Law and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act to do what the plaintiff's bar has been able to do in court. The bill's new theory of liability would have drastically changed the landscape of warranty and product liability law in California and ultimately drive up costs to all consumers and encourage meritless product litigation against businesses. There would have been no statute of limitation because the consumer could sue whenever he or she became aware of the latent defect. California is already a class action haven for frivolous claims. This bill would have definitely made it much worse. A copy of the coalition letter of opposition can be found here.
Verdugo v. Target -- Opinion Released
Posted on 06/24/2014 @ 07:29 PM
The California Supreme Court released its opinion June 23 in Verdugo v. Target Stores, S207313. CJAC, joined by the California Chamber of Commerce, filed an amici "friend of the court" brief in this case in November 2013.
The issue (certified by the Ninth Circuit for decision by this court) is: under what circumstances, if ever, does the common law duty of a retail store owner to provide emergency first aid to invitees require the owner to have an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) on the premises for cases of sudden cardiac arrest?
The case arose after a woman suffered a heart attack and died in a large Target department store that did not have an AED. Plaintiffs asserted a common law duty in tort for defendant to have an AED on its premises. However, the Court sided with CJAC's arguments and concluded that Target's common law duty of care to its customers does not include a duty to acquire and make available an AED for use in a medical emergency.
The Court found that nothing in the state Health and Safety Code required a business to acquire an AED and the Code explicitly stated that the sections concerning AEDs may not be construed to require a business to have one.
The Court noted that the Legislature is aware of the severity of the health risks posed by heart attacks and has taken several steps to address the issue. It has not found it necessary to impose this requirement on business establishments, and the Court believes the Legislature is in the best position to make this determination.
To read the opinion, click here.