09/19/2020

News

Is Your Employee a “Private Attorney General”

Business owners today struggle to comply with the multitude of laws and regulations that apply to the employer-employee relationship.  But what happens if you don’t comply?  How are workplace laws and regulations enforced?  Sometimes government agencies are involved in enforcement of such laws, but most often it is the employees themselves who take the lead.  A new form of such claim is becoming more prevalent in California today – the “Private Attorney General” or “PAGA” lawsuit.

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Too Bad Biotechs Can’t Cure Tort Abuse

In some recent merger cases, shareholder plaintiffs have based their suits on the claim, among others, that the venture capitalists on the board who constituted a majority had conspired to sell the company at a discount to the detriment of minority shareholders. Venture capitalists aren’t often accused of undue generosity, but especially not to buyers. San Diego-based Trius Therapeutics, which was sold to Cubist Pharmaceuticals well over a year ago, was sued in both Delaware and California. Though the suit was dismissed in Delaware, the case grinds on in California.

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The 2015 CALA Legal Reform Wish List

With the 2015-2016 legislative session under way, it’s worth reminding our elected leaders why legal reform is needed. Ultimately, enacting legal reform is about making our lawsuit system serve the interests of ordinary people, rather than making personal injury lawyers rich. Stopping the abuse of our legal system will enable California businesses to grow and create jobs.

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Bill Targets Questionable Disability Lawsuits

Published in 1961, Jacobs’ book exposed the flaws of that era’s urban-renewal programs. But she probably would never have imagined one of the more recent threats to old downtowns and to the oftentimes quirky small businesses that reside in historic buildings: disability lawsuits.

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“Made in USA” Spurs Lawsuits

But that’s a problem in California, which has the strictest guidelines in the country. If even one rivet in a larger product is foreign, state law says it amounts to false advertising to call it U.S. made.

The result: A host of consumer lawsuits against manufacturers, including two against Lifetime in which people complained they had been duped by the company’s labeling. Makers of everything from door locks to hand tools have been sued in recent years. A maker of helium tanks designed to be used at children’s parties was sued because it started packing imported balloons with the equipment. Another case involved Mag Instruments, a California company that produces Maglite flashlights. It was sued for using small rubber rings and light bulbs from abroad.

. . . The two suits were ultimately certified as a single class action and were settled last spring in a state court in San Diego. The court awarded plaintiff’s attorneys $485,000, and Lifetime agreed to donate an additional $325,000 to charity and to offer discounts to consumers who had bought basketball equipment in the past. One of the two named plaintiffs was awarded $4,500, the other $3,500. The company says the bill for its legal team added an additional $535,000.

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Valley Businesses Learn to Comply with ADA after Wave of Lawsuits

Small businesses in the Central Valley are increasingly finding themselves the targets of ADA claims by a handful of people who file lawsuit after lawsuit claiming discrimination. In fact, nearly 40 percent of the ADA lawsuits filed in the United States are in California. Tort reform advocates say that is largely because our state’s Unruh Civil Rights Act paves the way for bigger awards and California doesn’t require plaintiffs to demonstrate injury.

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New Reformers Needed to Curb the Lawsuit Abuse Killing Jobs in California

As I travel throughout California, I’ve been surprised by just how many heads begin to nod when I mention to crowds the damage being done by a legal system that is truly out of control.  Abusive lawsuits exploiting legal loopholes have impacted far more people than I expected to meet around the state. – See more at: http://www.flashreport.org/blog/2014/08/07/new-reformers-needed-to-curb-the-lawsuit-abuse-killing-jobs-in-california/#sthash.7uuL2k7s.dpuf

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California’s Malpractice Ruse

One of California’s few emollients for employers is its limit on “pain and suffering” medical liability judgments, which has improved access to medical care and held down health costs. But look out: Plaintiffs lawyers abetted by Attorney General Kamala Harris are now trying to gut the cap with a ballot initiative dressed in patient-protection garb.

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Judicial Hellholes 2013/14

The American Tort Reform Foundation issued its annual Judicial Hellholes® report today, naming civil courts in California, Louisiana, New York City, West Virginia, Southwestern Illinois’ Madison and St. Clair counties, and South Florida among the nation’s “most unfair.”

Research & Studies
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Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week Reminds Us All That We Need Legal Reform

As I travel around California visiting with our many small business members, these mom and pop employers have told me almost every story of lawsuit abuse imaginable: customers pretending to slip and fall in order to sue a business, lawsuits over the blue paint on a parking space being faded, businesses facing Prop. 65 lawsuits for not warning customers that alcohol is bad for them…the list goes on and on.

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Brown Signs Law Amending State’s Anti-toxins Law, Proposition 65

Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday signed into law changes to Proposition 65, the state’s landmark anti-toxins law, that aim to reduce lawsuits and fines for businesses.

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California View for New Space Industry

As several new private ventures to take people on trips to space come closer to becoming reality, California lawmakers are racing other states to woo the new space companies with cushy incentives.

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California’s Food Court: Where Lawyers Never Go Hungry

Over the past 18 months, a group of plaintiffs’ lawyers who got rich suing the tobacco industry have turned their litigious attention to what they hope will be the next big thing: challenges to healthy-sounding food labels they allege are misleading. Hailing from across the U.S., the lawyers decided to sue in federal courts in Northern California, where the consumer-protection laws are expansive and the jury pool nutrition-conscious.

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California’s Food Court: Where Lawyers Never Go Hungry

Over the past 18 months, a group of plaintiffs’ lawyers who got rich suing the tobacco industry have turned their litigious attention to what they hope will be the next big thing: challenges to healthy-sounding food labels they allege are misleading. Hailing from across the U.S., the lawyers decided to sue in federal courts in Northern California, where the consumer-protection laws are expansive and the jury pool nutrition-conscious.

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State Lawsuit Climates

. . . explores how reasonable and balanced the states’ tort liability systems are perceived to be by U.S. business.

Research & Studies
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