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April 10th, 2018

Intent on Making State a Judicial Hellhole- Maryland High Court Holds Statute of Repose Does Not Apply to Asbestos Claims

The Maryland Court of Appeals recently overturned the state appellate court’s Duffy v. CBS Corp. decision. In the case, which involved asbestos claims for wrongful death, the appellate court held that the state’s twenty-year statute of repose for improvements to real property barred an asbestos claim brought for exposure to the substance in 1970. In overturning the appellate court, the Maryland high court most notably disagreed with the appellate court on the issue of when a cause of action arises.

Maryland’s 20-year statute of repose for improvements to real property was first enacted in 1970. It required any claim relating to an improvement to real property to accrue within 20 years . . . → Read More: Intent on Making State a Judicial Hellhole- Maryland High Court Holds Statute of Repose Does Not Apply to Asbestos Claims

March 22nd, 2018

ATRA Disappointed in Massachusetts Supreme Court’s Decision to Adopt Expansive Theory of “Innovator Liability”

On March 16, 2018, in a very disappointing decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Court adopted an expansive theory of civil liability known as “innovator liability.” The state joins perennial Judicial Hellhole, California, as the only other state to adopt this dangerous theory of liability. The Alabama Supreme Court adopted “innovator liability” in 2014, but the decision was quickly overturned by the legislature.

In Rafferty v. Merck, the court held that a brand-name drug manufacturer can be sued for recklessness if it intentionally failed to update the label on its drug, knowing that there is a risk of death or injury with its use, that makers of generic versions must adopt . . . → Read More: ATRA Disappointed in Massachusetts Supreme Court’s Decision to Adopt Expansive Theory of “Innovator Liability”

March 8th, 2018

California Federal Court Finds ‘Insufficient Evidence’ to Require Warning Labels on Roundup Products

On February 26, 2018, a federal judge in the District Court for the Eastern District of California halted a Prop 65 requirement that Monsanto place warning labels on its Roundup products, deciding that there was “insufficient evidence” the popular weed killer causes cancer. . . . → Read More: California Federal Court Finds ‘Insufficient Evidence’ to Require Warning Labels on Roundup Products

March 1st, 2018

Attorney General Sessions Discusses DOJ Efforts to Combat Opioid Abuse

On Tuesday, we heard more about the ongoing efforts to combat opioid abuse and efforts to combat this important public health problem.  U.S Attorney General Jeff Sessions discussed a variety of topics, including lawsuits already underway around the country.  It is noteworthy that, during a discussion of litigation issues with journalists, General Sessions rejected the concept of retaining outside counsel who are paid on a contingent basis.

Americans can be encouraged by responsible authorities’ increasing engagement and determination to address our nation’s complex problems with opioid abuse, but these problems won’t be solved overnight. It is essential that elected policymakers, the expert regulators they appoint, the medical and scientific . . . → Read More: Attorney General Sessions Discusses DOJ Efforts to Combat Opioid Abuse

February 14th, 2018

Evidence of Trial Lawyer Corruption Comes to Light in South Carolina

On Sunday, February 11, 2018, the Post and Courier of Charleston, South Carolina reported new email evidence suggesting misconduct regarding a tort reform bill in 2011. The emails in question were uncovered by prosecutors and involve Rick Quinn, a former state representative who in Decemeber of 2017 plead guilty to State house corruption charges.   They also implicate the South Carolina Association for Justice, the state trial lawyers’ group, as the association sought political favors from Quinn and his political consultant father through hefty donations.

Despite these illicit donations, the association learned that then Senate president Glenn McConnell supported the bill, which would have capped punitive damage awards at $350,000.

In . . . → Read More: Evidence of Trial Lawyer Corruption Comes to Light in South Carolina

February 6th, 2018

“CREATES Act” is Nothing but a Giveaway to Well-Heeled Personal Injury Lawyers

The United States Senate is currently considering legislation that would benefit trial lawyers at the expense of consumers and innovative drug manufacturers. Proponents claim the Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (“CREATES”) Act (Pat Leahy D-VT) would provide a more efficient path for generic drug manufacturers to bring their product to market.  In reality, the legislation is nothing but a giveaway to greedy personal injury lawyers and generic drug manufacturers.  . . . → Read More: “CREATES Act” is Nothing but a Giveaway to Well-Heeled Personal Injury Lawyers

January 19th, 2018

Garden State’s New Governor Faces Bellwether Choice on ‘Pay Equity’ Legislation

New Jersey, already ranked 6th among the nation’s worst Judicial Hellholes, has a newly inaugurated governor who’s wasted no time signaling his intention to expand growth-stifling civil liability still further . . . → Read More: Garden State’s New Governor Faces Bellwether Choice on ‘Pay Equity’ Legislation

January 10th, 2018

ATRA Backs Bill Reforming Missouri Law on Venue & Joinder

A representative of the American Tort Reform Association today testified before Missouri’s Senate Government Reform Committee in support of newlyMissouri Show Me Your Lawsuits State proposed legislation aiming to make the Show Me Your Lawsuits State less welcoming to out-of-state plaintiffs looking to sue out-of-state defendants over alleged out-of-state injuries in plaintiff-friendly St. Louis, one of the nation’s worst Judicial Hellholes . . . → Read More: ATRA Backs Bill Reforming Missouri Law on Venue & Joinder

December 4th, 2017

High Court’s Contempt for Lawmakers’ Authority, Lawsuit Rackets Place Florida atop Latest ‘Judicial Hellholes’ List

The American Tort Reform Foundation issued its 2017-2018 Judicial Hellholes® report today, naming courts in Florida, California, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Illinois and Louisiana among the nation’s “most unfair” in their handling of civil litigation. . . . → Read More: High Court’s Contempt for Lawmakers’ Authority, Lawsuit Rackets Place Florida atop Latest ‘Judicial Hellholes’ List

December 4th, 2017

ATRA Calls out Sen. Graham’s $500 Million Tax-Break for Trial Lawyers in Ninth Circuit

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 4, 2017 – The American Tort Reform Association today questioned South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham’s thus far effort to strip from tax legislation a provision that would end a significant tax break for wealthy personal injury lawyers pursuing class actions and other potentially lucrative lawsuits on a contingency-fee basis in courts within the U.S. Ninth Circuit . . . → Read More: ATRA Calls out Sen. Graham’s $500 Million Tax-Break for Trial Lawyers in Ninth Circuit

November 5th, 2017

Mark Fiore’s Cartoon for KQED Captures Madness of California Wildfires Litigation

This spot-on political cartoon says it all. But those who want more details about the wildfire of lawsuits in Northern California can read our October 30 post, “Cant Sue God or Nature, So Disaster-Chasing Personal Injury Lawyers Go after Utilities” . . . → Read More: Mark Fiore’s Cartoon for KQED Captures Madness of California Wildfires Litigation

November 2nd, 2017

Another Asbestos Bankruptcy

As deception and outright fraud persist as tactics of that element of the plaintiffs’ bar which continues to enrich itself through asbestos litigation, and as the U.S. Senate dithers over much needed legislation that would bring more transparency to asbestos claims, yet another company has been driven into bankruptcy — at the expense of employees, pensioners and creditors . . . → Read More: Another Asbestos Bankruptcy

October 31st, 2017

Cordray’s Veto Letter to Trump a ‘Last-Gasp’ Effort to Save Possible Gubernatorial Campaign

Noting that Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray has “sloppily revealed the falsity of long-running arguments against arbitration clauses in financial services contracts,” the American Tort Reform Association today called a newly reported letter from Cordray to President Trump “a desperate attempt to win back plaintiffs’ bar support for his possible gubernatorial run in Ohio” . . . → Read More: Cordray’s Veto Letter to Trump a ‘Last-Gasp’ Effort to Save Possible Gubernatorial Campaign

October 30th, 2017

Can’t Sue God or Nature, So Disaster-Chasing Personal Injury Lawyers Go after Utilities

Parasitic personal injury lawyers have drummed up class actions in the wake of both natural and manmade disasters before, but it’s tough to recall when they’ve been quicker on the opportunistic draw than they’ve been in suing utilities in the Judicial Hellholes states of California and Florida in the wake of recent wildfires and a hurricane . . . → Read More: Can’t Sue God or Nature, So Disaster-Chasing Personal Injury Lawyers Go after Utilities

October 24th, 2017

Another Scientifically Groundless Talc Verdict Falls, This Time in Los Angeles

Just three days after a Missouri appeals court vacated the first of four monstrous, if scientifically groundless verdicts won since 2015 in St. Louis by plaintiffs alleging their use of talcum powder caused ovarian cancer, a trial judge in Los Angles last Friday reversed a $417 million plaintiff’s verdict in a comparable case . . . → Read More: Another Scientifically Groundless Talc Verdict Falls, This Time in Los Angeles

October 24th, 2017

Two Florida Firms’ Fraudulent Tobacco Claims Draw Nearly $9.2 Million in Sanctions

With at least six Florida personal injury lawyers now facing unrelated criminal charges for defrauding auto insurers and the Sunshine State already in the running for this year’s #1 ranking among the nation’s Judicial Hellholes, a panel of four federal judges last week imposed nearly $9.2 million in sanctions on two Jacksonville-based plaintiffs’ firms for their shameless pursuit of more than 1,200 “frivolous and factually baseless lawsuits” against tobacco defendants . . . → Read More: Two Florida Firms’ Fraudulent Tobacco Claims Draw Nearly $9.2 Million in Sanctions

October 20th, 2017

Maryland Lawmakers Should Investigate Asbestos Claims, Not Raise Taxes

Prompted by overtures from the politically powerful personal injury law firm of Peter Angelos, Maryland’s Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee last Tuesday conducted a “briefing” for lawmakers on what plaintiffs’ lawyers purport is a “backlog of civil asbestos cases” in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City . . . → Read More: Maryland Lawmakers Should Investigate Asbestos Claims, Not Raise Taxes

October 18th, 2017

First of Missouri’s Monster Talc Verdicts Falls on Appeal, Others Likely to Follow

A Missouri appellate court yesterday reversed and vacated a $72 million verdict that was the first of four such controversial, multimillion-dollar verdicts rendered in the City of St. Louis Circuit Court in a series of scientifically groundless lawsuits claiming that the use of talcum powder causes ovarian cancer . . . → Read More: First of Missouri’s Monster Talc Verdicts Falls on Appeal, Others Likely to Follow

October 17th, 2017

A More Nuanced Look at the Washington Post’s ‘Bizarre Opioid Story’

Barely a month after the nation’s largest trade association of personal injury lawyers conducted a “Rapid Response: Opioid Litigation Seminar,” teaching attendees how they might cash in on such litigation, the Washington Post and CBS’s 60 Minutes partnered to break Sunday’s big story that alleges the pharmaceutical industry showered members of Congress with campaign contributions in order to pass legislation, adopted unanimously in both the House and Senate and signed into law by President Obama, which effectively restrained efforts by the Drug Enforcement Administration to rein in illicit distribution of federally approved prescription painkillers . . . → Read More: A More Nuanced Look at the Washington Post’s ‘Bizarre Opioid Story’

October 2nd, 2017

Record-Setting But Totally Bogus FCA Verdict Reversed by Fifth Circuit

A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit last Friday reversed a record-setting federal False Claims Act verdict of $663 million in a case so willfully mishandled by the trial judge that it sunk the Eastern District of Texas into the ignominious rankings of Judicial Hellholes two years ago . . . → Read More: Record-Setting But Totally Bogus FCA Verdict Reversed by Fifth Circuit