Bills on the list will lead to frivolous suits, excessive lawyer fees and fiscal problems
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – April 15, 2021 – The Civil Justice Association of California (CJAC) has released its list of Triple Threat Bills for the 2021 legislative year, highlighting the organization’s top priority bills that threaten to undermine fairness and balance in the state’s civil justice system.
Triple Threat Bills contain the following three threats: 1.) Attract unwarranted or abusive litigation, 2.) lead to excessive attorneys’ fees and 3.) increase costs for businesses, consumers and the state.
Bills that create private rights of action (PRAs), which allow anyone to bring lawsuits under laws normally enforced by government, are often triple threats because they incentivize profit-seeking suits.
“Our goal with this list is to inform Californians about bills that will drive frivolous litigation so they can voice concerns to their legislators,” said Kyla Christoffersen Powell, president and CEO of CJAC. “Plaintiffs’ attorneys, not consumers, will be the ones to benefit from Triple Threat Bills if they pass.”
Legislators’ voting actions on Triple Threat Bills will be given priority weight in CJAC’s Balance Scorecard for the 2021 legislative year.
The 2021 Triple Threat Bills that CJAC opposes or opposes unless amended are:
- AB 95 (Low): New PRA and expands attorneys’ fees. Mandates employers with 25 or more employees to provide 10 days of paid bereavement leave and creates a new civil action and attorneys’ fees entitlement.
- AB 424 (Stone): New PRA and expands attorneys’ fees. Imposes onerous new regulations on student loan collections and creates new civil action and punitive damages, treble damages and attorneys’ fees entitlement.
- AB 701 (Gonzalez, Lorena): New PRA and expands attorneys’ fees. Imposes onerous new regulations on warehouse distribution centers and creates new civil action and attorneys’ fees entitlement.
- AB 743 (Ramos): New basis to sue insurance companies. Creates a retroactive rebuttable presumption that COVID-19 caused physical damage at a business for purposes of business interruption insurance coverage.
- AB 814 (Levine): New PRA and expands attorneys’ fees. Creates overly broad restrictions on the use of data collected for contact tracing and creates new civil action and attorney’s fees entitlement.
- SB 447 (Laird): New way to collect unlimited damages and more attorneys’ fees. For the first time in California history, allows unlimited pain and suffering damages to be awarded in survivor actions, on top of punitive and economic damages.
- SB 606 (Gonzalez, Lena): Expands PRA and excessive penalties. Establishes a rebuttable presumption of retaliation for any adverse employment action that takes place within 90 days of a COVID test and safety reports and establishes new civil penalties.
CJAC will modify the Triple Threat Bill list throughout 2021 to reflect changes, additions and deletions. Visit http://www.cjac.org/triple-threats to view updates to the list.
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The Civil Justice Association of California (CJAC) has been a trusted source of expertise on legal reform for almost half a century. CJAC confronts legislation, laws and regulations that create unfair litigation burdens on California businesses, employees and communities.