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published on January 2, 2019 - 1:48 PM
Written by Gabriel Dillard

At this point, it would probably be more newsworthy if California weren’t at the top of the “Judicial Hellhole” list, put out annually by the American Tort Reform Foundation.

But that’s not the state we live and do business in.

So, of course, California is once again the No. 1 Judicial Hellhole in the country, giving us the “most unfair” civil litigation courts in the entire U.S. The American Tort Reform Foundation (ATRF) took a two-year hiatus from producing the list, but the Golden State emerged as the “perennial” favorite.

As started in a report by the ATRF: “California judges and legislators alike have a propensity to expand liability at almost every given opportunity.”

Florida came in at No. 2 on the list, followed by New York City to round out the top 3.

Never to be outshined, California emerged an outlier at the end of 2017 when the state Supreme Court adopted the theory of “innovator liability.” The theory exposes a company that invested millions of dollars into a developing a medication to liability when a person who took a generic version made by a competitor alleges an injury from the drug, according to the California Chamber of Commerce.

It is only the second state high court to take such a innovation-killing position.

California has also become ground zero for “no-injury” consumer protection lawsuits targeting the food and beverage industry. These often challenge the marketing or labeling of food nationwide.

Add in frivolous Prop. 65 and Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuits, it’s a wonder anyone opens a small business here.


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