CJAC: Civil Justice Association of California

Mar 8, 2011

CJAC Praises New Report by Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse on Job Losses

Report Further Highlights How California Law Encourages Lawsuits that Cost Jobs

SACRAMENTO - The Civil Justice Association of California (CJAC) praised a new report released today by the California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse titled “At Every Turn…California Chooses Bad Lawsuits Instead of Good Jobs.” The report details how a number of California laws relating to class actions, workplace and environmental regulations, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) have cost people their jobs, prevented businesses from growing, and delayed major projects indefinitely that had many jobs attached to them.

“The Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse have done a superb job of providing specific, real-world examples of lawsuits causing job loss and preventing economic growth,” CJAC President Kim Stone said. “This report is very timely as California’s leaders are focusing on ways to get our economy going again. I would encourage them to take a close look at what is in this report and consider not only the economic impact but the basic human impact of lawsuit abuse and how much it can disrupt someone’s life.”

In one case highlighted in the report, a doughnut shop in Reedley, CA was sued for noncompliance with ADA even though the owner’s daughter who helps manage the shop has been in a wheelchair her whole life and had no complaints about access. A nearby restaurant targeted by the same personal injury firm for ADA violations had to actually close. In another example, a lawsuit filed over environmental concerns has blocked a solar energy project in Riverside County that would create 600 jobs and generate enough green energy to power 75,000 homes.

“The ‘common-sense reforms’ identified in the report - leveling the playing field in class action suits, product liability reform, common-sense limits on punitive damages, and practical ADA reform - are proposals CJAC has continually advocated for,” Stone added. “Assemblyman Brian Nestande is carrying a CJAC sponsored bill this year, AB 271, that would give defendants the same right of appeal that plaintiffs have on class action certification. This report helps demonstrate the need for such a bill and we hope the Legislature develops a stronger appreciation for it.”

The full report can be found at www.badlawsuitscostgoodjobs.com.

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