CJAC: Civil Justice Association of California

New CALA Report Summarizes Frustrations of Local Leaders and Small Businesses

By Todd Roberson on 11/17/2011 @ 10:48 PM

Tags: Americans with Disabilities Act, Frivolous Lawsuits, Legal Climate, Legal Reform

This week the California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA) released a new report summarizing the roundtable discussions they held across the state in which they brought together local elected officials, community leaders and business owners to share different perspectives about how excessive litigation is hurting California and what can be done to stop it.

The report, which can be read here, focuses particularly on the challenges posed in trying to comply with disabled access laws and and Proposition 65, which requires warnings in advance of possible exposure to toxic substances.

For instance, Ann Kinner owns Seabreeze Books & Charts in Point Loma and was sued for ADA violations even though her business is in a historic district which prevents her from making changes to her property. She won the case, but still spent $10,000 in legal costs.

And Bob Bertelli owns a pharmacy in Atwater which is exempt from Prop. 65, but he was sued over a vinyl cover.

The report finds that, "while specific stories of lawsuit abuse varied from region to region, each roundtable discussion centered on a common theme: California's legal climate is severely hindering economic growth, hurting job creation and prolonging the recession. Due to this, California's small business owners are fed up with the Legislature's continued inability to pass meaningful reforms."

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