CJAC: Civil Justice Association of California

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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LA Lakers Threatened by Class Action Over Text Messages

Posted on 10/27/2014 @ 04:00 PM

A fan of the Los Angeles Lakers has filed a class action lawsuit against the team under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for text messaging him. The TCPA was passed in 1991, prior to text messaging, in order to regulate unwanted and spam phone calls. Many teams, including the Lakers, offer fans the opportunity to have custom text messages displayed on arena screens during games. First, the fan sends the text message. Then, the team automatically sends a “thank you” response. However, this fan has filed suit against the team under the TCPA reasoning that the law covers text messaging, even though he initiated text communications to participate in the offer.

This is not the first case filed against a Los Angeles team under the TCPA. A lawsuit against the Clippers was recently settled.

To read more, click here.

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Woman suing Disney, claims 'Frozen' is my life story – told to “let it go.”

Posted on 10/02/2014 @ 10:00 AM

A woman has filed a $250 million lawsuit against Disney, claiming that mega-hit Frozen is her life story, saying the animated film took elements from her 2010 autobiography.

Court documents include a list of motifs the author claims were taken from her book like: two sisters, open doors or gates, and a moon setting.

In addition to damages, the author wants Disney to "cease and desist from any and all sales, distribution and marketing of Frozen in any media format."

A Disney spokeswoman responded to her claim, saying, "This is beyond ridiculous, she needs to let it go."

To read more, click here.

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Riverside County Supervisors Delay Lawsuit Transparency Vote

Posted on 09/25/2014 @ 10:00 AM

On September 23, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors punted on a proposal to shine a light on how much civil litigation costs taxpayers. The proposal, introduced by Kevin Jeffries, would require county department budgets reflect settlement costs and judgments stemming from lawsuits concerning departmental activities. Just last year, Riverside County departments paid nearly $21 million to satisfy civil settlements and judgments. It is unclear how many other local governments are saddled with these costs.

Taxpayers ought to know how their money is spent. Jeffries notes that “[e]very dollar paid out is one less dollar that we can utilize for basic services.” The proposal is expected to come back to the board on October 21st.

To read The Press Enterprise article, click here.

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