CJAC: Civil Justice Association of California

May 2, 2013

Is 'Right to Know' really 'Right to Sue'?

San Jose Mercury News
May 2, 2013

Troy Wolverton's column ("Your privacy under attack on two fronts," Page 1D, April 29), does not give enough consideration to the litigation that would result from AB 1291. The bill is called the "Right to Know Act" but would be more accurately called the "Right to Sue Act." While consumer protection laws need to be strongly enforced, we should not be passing laws that will be easy for opportunistic lawyers to abuse. AB 1291 will open a Pandora's box because it will be enforceable through private lawsuits regardless of whether the person suing has actually been harmed. Existing privacy laws already allow for attorney's fees and liquidated damages of $500-$3,000 per violation. Enabling personal injury lawyers to sue without showing any specific injury or harm leads to frivolous lawsuits. Under AB 1291, lawyers would make a quick buck by bringing civil suits even when there is no evidence of harm.

Kim Stone
President, Civil Justice Association of California

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