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June 20th, 2017

SCOTUS Decision Prompts Judge in #1 Hellhole St. Louis to Declare Mistrial in Talc Case

Responding to a defense motion that cited an important 8-1 U.S. Supreme Court decision rendered earlier in the day, a St. Louis trial judge yesterday declared a mistrial in the sixth such trial there in which plaintiffs allege, contrary to widely accepted science, that the makers of talcum powder are responsible for their ovarian cancer . . . → Read More: SCOTUS Decision Prompts Judge in #1 Hellhole St. Louis to Declare Mistrial in Talc Case

April 18th, 2017

California High Court again Defies SCOTUS, Expands Civil Liability, Enriches Plaintiffs’ Lawyers

Continuing its well established trend of expanding civil liability while disregarding U.S. Supreme Court precedent, the California Supreme Court did it again last week with its plaintiff-favoring decision in McGill v. Citibank, N.A. . . . → Read More: California High Court again Defies SCOTUS, Expands Civil Liability, Enriches Plaintiffs’ Lawyers

March 24th, 2017

Ad Campaign in Missouri Advocates Tort Reform, Notes Influence of ‘Judicial Hellholes’ Report

Missouri Rising, a pro-business advocacy group helping to push needed civil justice reforms through the Show Me Your Lawsuits State’s legislature, began airing television ads this month which note the fact that ATRA’s latest Judicial Hellholes report named St. Louis as the nation’s #1 hellhole . . . → Read More: Ad Campaign in Missouri Advocates Tort Reform, Notes Influence of ‘Judicial Hellholes’ Report

March 3rd, 2017

Louisiana Litigation Seeking to Bilk Energy Companies Suffers Set-Back at Fifth Circuit

In a major development in the civil litigation targeting energy producers in Louisiana over their alleged damaging of the receding coastline there, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit today unanimously affirmed the dismissal of the very first such lawsuit — wholly concocted by plaintiffs’ lawyers — filed on behalf of the Board of Commissioners of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (SLFPA-E) . . . → Read More: Louisiana Litigation Seeking to Bilk Energy Companies Suffers Set-Back at Fifth Circuit

February 17th, 2017

Florida High Court’s Plaintiff-Favoring Majority again Disregards Lawmakers, Embraces Junk Science

The Florida Supreme Court’s plaintiff-favoring majority yesterday maintained its reputation for wholly disregarding the authority of duly elected state lawmakers with a 4-2 decision, refusing to adopt a 2013 reform law that raised the Sunshine State’s standard for expert testimony to that of all federal courts and 39 other state court systems . . . → Read More: Florida High Court’s Plaintiff-Favoring Majority again Disregards Lawmakers, Embraces Junk Science

February 11th, 2017

ATRA Letter in Post-Dispatch Pushes Back against Lying Lawyer

In attacking ATRA’s annually well-documented “Judicial Hellholes” report, which recently ranked St. Louis as the nation’s least fair civil court jurisdiction and criticized what we believe are scientifically groundless verdicts against makers of talcum powder, local personal injury lawyer Roger Denton claimed to have no involvement in litigation against one of those makers. But documents ATRA provided to the Post-Dispatch caught him in a lie . . . → Read More: ATRA Letter in Post-Dispatch Pushes Back against Lying Lawyer

January 30th, 2017

Refusing to Stay Groundless Talc Cases, Missouri High Court Doubles Down on Open Invitation to Out-of-State Plaintiffs

Last week the Missouri Supreme Court doubled down on a horrible, anything-goes venue decision it made last fall by refusing to stay some 1,350 cases brought predominantly on behalf of out-of-state plaintiffs in St. Louis, the nation’s #1 Judicial Hellhole, which allege that talcum powder products cause ovarian cancer . . . → Read More: Refusing to Stay Groundless Talc Cases, Missouri High Court Doubles Down on Open Invitation to Out-of-State Plaintiffs

January 24th, 2017

Philadelphia’s ‘Complex Litigation Center’ Backsliding toward Return to Judicial Hellholes List

After topping the annual Judicial Hellholes rankings in both 2010 and 2011, Philadelphia’s Complex Litigation Center (CLC) for mass torts undertook dramatic reforms in 2012 that significantly improved balance and fairness. But as judicial conduct there has again begun to encourage plaintiffs’ lawyers from across the country to bring their cases to Philly, the “City of Unbrotherly Torts” is backsliding toward its ignominious past . . . → Read More: Philadelphia’s ‘Complex Litigation Center’ Backsliding toward Return to Judicial Hellholes List

January 18th, 2017

Missouri’s New Governor Cites ‘Judicial Hellholes’ Report in His First ‘State of the State’ Address

Missouri’s newly minted, reform-minded Governor Eric Greitens delivered his first State of the State address to a joint session of the legislature in Jefferson City yesterday, declaring his commitment to enacting critical tort reforms as a means to improving both the state’s civil justice system and its economic prospects . . . → Read More: Missouri’s New Governor Cites ‘Judicial Hellholes’ Report in His First ‘State of the State’ Address

October 28th, 2016

Missouri Invites Out-of-State Plaintiffs’ Claims against Out-of-State Defendants for Alleged Out-of-State Injuries

A decision last week by the Supreme Court of Missouri effectively rolls out a “Show Me Your Lawsuits State” welcome mat for lawsuits by out-of-state plaintiffs against out-of-state defendants over alleged out-of-state injuries The state’s notoriously weak venue law has long allowed plaintiffs’ lawyers to shop their cases to the friendliest courts. Now there is virtually nothing stopping plaintiff’s lawyers from picking their preferred judge and jury. . . . → Read More: Missouri Invites Out-of-State Plaintiffs’ Claims against Out-of-State Defendants for Alleged Out-of-State Injuries

October 12th, 2016

With ‘Epidemic’ of Multiple-Defendant Claims, Madison County Remains the Nation’s Leader in New Asbestos Cases

Perennial Judicial Hellhole Madison County, Illinois is not ready to give up its dubious distinction as the top asbestos litigation destination anytime soon. According to a recent midyear report and earlier annual report by KCIC Consulting, Madison County’s asbestos filings increased by 5% from 2014 to 2015 and continued to increase during the first half of 2016. The riverside county of fewer than 270,000 people was home to 29% of the nation’s asbestos filings in the first half of 2016 – up from 25% of the nation’s asbestos filings in 2015. Now, the county sits atop the ranking with more than twice as many filings as second place Baltimore City. . . . → Read More: With ‘Epidemic’ of Multiple-Defendant Claims, Madison County Remains the Nation’s Leader in New Asbestos Cases

September 6th, 2016

Judicial Hellholes Bulletin: New Report Details Trial Lawyers’ Influence over Illinois’ Policymakers, Judges

Though release of ATRA’s annual Judicial Hellholes® report is still more than three months away, this special bulletin alerts readers to a new report, Justice for Sale III, issued by the Illinois Civil Justice League, detailing and quantifying the campaign contributions and enormous political influence that plaintiffs’ lawyers Madison County, Illinoisexert on policymakers and judges throughout the hellholes riddled state . . . → Read More: Judicial Hellholes Bulletin: New Report Details Trial Lawyers’ Influence over Illinois’ Policymakers, Judges

September 1st, 2016

‘Clueless’ California High Court Decision Extends Invitation to Out-of-State Plaintiffs’ Lawsuits

California, already the nation’s #1 ranked Judicial Hellhole for three years running, has, like, thrown open its doors to out-of-state plaintiffs with claims similar to California plaintiffs’ claims against national defendants, discarding due process and effectively ignoring several U.S. Supreme Court opinions . . . → Read More: ‘Clueless’ California High Court Decision Extends Invitation to Out-of-State Plaintiffs’ Lawsuits

July 15th, 2016

New Jersey’s High Court Makes ‘Take-Home’ Liability Virtually Limitless with ‘Case-by-Case’ Decision

In answering a certified question of law posed to it by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit as that federal court considers a case of “take-home” liability, New Jersey’s high court last week effectively ignored its own 2006 precedent to expand such liability into an open-ended guessing game that defendants are bound to lose . . . → Read More: New Jersey’s High Court Makes ‘Take-Home’ Liability Virtually Limitless with ‘Case-by-Case’ Decision

July 7th, 2016

Georgia’s High Court Rules Reasonably on Asbestos Liability

In contrast to two recent high court decisions in the currently ranked top two Judicial Hellholes, the Georgia Supreme Court this week reasonably limited asbestos liability by reversing a $4 million plaintiff’s verdict and rejecting “expert” testimony that espoused the long-disfavored “any exposure/cumulative exposure” theory.

Georgia’s high court held: “The critical opinion conveyed by Dr. Abraham in his testimony — that any exposure to asbestos at the Waycross facility was a cause of [the plaintiff’s] mesothelioma, regardless of the extent of the exposure — does not ‘fit’ the legal standard for causation, and for that reason, the admission of his testimony . . . amounted to an abuse of discretion.”

The Peach State ruling comes as . . . → Read More: Georgia’s High Court Rules Reasonably on Asbestos Liability

June 30th, 2016

Two Terrible Asbestos Decisions by New York’s High Court Uphold NYCAL’s ‘Judicial Hellholes’ Reputation

As expected, New York’s highest court Tuesday upheld two plaintiff-favoring trial court decisions from the New York City Asbestos Litigation court, better known as NYCAL, assuring that the jurisdiction will again be ranked among Judicial Hellholes when ATRA issues its annual report this coming December . . . → Read More: Two Terrible Asbestos Decisions by New York’s High Court Uphold NYCAL’s ‘Judicial Hellholes’ Reputation

June 29th, 2016

Thanks to Governor Nixon’s Vetoes, Missouri Remains the ‘Show Me Your Lawsuits State’

Owned and operated by personal injury lawyers, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon yesterday vetoed two bipartisan tort reform bills that could have helped make civil litigation a little more fair in his notorious Judicial Hellhole . . . → Read More: Thanks to Governor Nixon’s Vetoes, Missouri Remains the ‘Show Me Your Lawsuits State’

June 2nd, 2016

Florida’s Strengthened ‘Expert Testimony’ Standard Working, But Still under Threat by State’s High Court

Joining several state trial and appellate courts in doing so, a unanimous Florida appeals court yesterday embraced a more exacting standard for expert testimony which, believe it or not, may yet be struck down by the Sunshine State’s notoriously plaintiff-friendly Supreme Court . . . → Read More: Florida’s Strengthened ‘Expert Testimony’ Standard Working, But Still under Threat by State’s High Court

May 23rd, 2016

‘Gateway to the West’ Becomes the ‘Gateway to the Courts’ for Dubious Science and High Damage Awards

St. Louis juries have twice levied hefty multi-million dollar damage awards against Johnson & Johnson since February on behalf of out of state ovarian cancer victims. Questions remain as to whether the scientific evidence supported such large verdicts. Johnson & Johnson is appealing both verdicts. . . . → Read More: ‘Gateway to the West’ Becomes the ‘Gateway to the Courts’ for Dubious Science and High Damage Awards

May 11th, 2016

Florida’s Plaintiff-Favoring High Court Strikes down Another Thoughtful Legislative Reform

The Florida Supreme Court’s plaintiff-friendly 5-2 majority has once again shown its willingness to substitute its own public policy views for those of the legislature with a late-April decision invalidating a statutory schedule for lawyers’ fees in workers’ compensation cases . . . → Read More: Florida’s Plaintiff-Favoring High Court Strikes down Another Thoughtful Legislative Reform