For Immediate Release: March 19, 2014
Contact: Maryann, 949-375-0856
Lawsuit Abuse Victims, Legal Reform Advocates Convene to Tell Legislators, “We Need to Create Jobs, Not Lawsuits”
SACRAMENTO – More than 150 victims of abusive lawsuits, supporters of California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA), and the Civil Justice Association of California (CJAC) convened in Sacramento today to discuss how lawsuit abuse is hindering job creation in California and urge legislators to pass legal reform. Grassroots advocates filled the halls of the Capitol, telling legislators personal stories of the cost of lawsuit abuse and advocating for reforms that would help the state create jobs, not lawsuits.
Kyle Kirkland, President and General Manager of Club One Casino in Fresno, moderated a panel discussion of lawsuit abuse victims and experts at the event. “Our elected officials need to hear that lawsuit abuse is holding back the economy,” said Kirkland. “Every dollar my business spends fighting a lawsuit is a dollar that can’t be spent hiring new workers or expanding the business.”
Advocates focused on three bills when they spoke with legislators:
* AB 2494 (Cooley), which would give judges the authority to take action against “frivolous” actors on both sides a lawsuit
* AB 1885 (Bigelow), which would reduce the incentive for “shakedown” lawsuits alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act while increasing access for the disabled
* AB 2361 (Jones), which would amend California’s Proposition 65 to protect more small businesses against “shakedown” lawsuits
“There once was a worthy goal behind Proposition 65, but it has turned into a vehicle for shakedown lawsuits against small businesses,” said Assemblyman Brian Jones. “AB 2361 provides common sense protections for small businesses that will improve California’s business climate and help create the jobs this state needs.”
Advocates also spoke out against SB 1188 (Jackson), which would greatly increase the opportunities for frivolous consumer class action lawsuits, driving up costs for businesses and discouraging economic growth in California.
“Nothing can stop a business in its tracks like an abusive lawsuit. California’s refusal to take steps to stop lawsuit abuse is part of why we have one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates,” CJAC President Kim Stone said. “CJAC and CALA are working to support legal reform to help California’s economy.”
“California is ground-zero for lawsuit abuse. We’ve been identified as the worst ‘Judicial Hellhole’ in the nation two years in a row, and lawsuit abuse continues to hurt small businesses and slow job growth in our state,” said CALA Executive Director Tom Scott. “Legal reform needs to be top of mind as our legislators discuss ways to improve California’s job growth.”
California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA) is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to educating the public about the negative effects of lawsuit abuse and challenging those who abuse our legal system for personal gain.