‘Top Hellhole’ Ranking Sparks Some Debate

There’s not much balance in most online coverage of California’s latest “Judicial Hellhole” ranking, but there’s a good exception at the Law360 website. Their report notes that the ranking by the American Tort Reform Association doesn’t tell “the whole story,” but offers strong comments from people on both sides of the debate.
For example, Law360 writes that “… the report focuses too heavily on a minority of abusive cases, according to Brian Kabateck,” who is identified as a former president of the Consumer Attorneys of California. The quote continues that “… this report is coming from a coalition of corporations and big businesses and insurance companies. They are taking a very small number of clearly abusive lawsuits, and they are trying to use that as a smoke screen to shield themselves from liability for their bad actions and their injurious conduct directed at Californians.”
But other experts point out that other states have taken measures to clear up clogged court systems and California could learn a thing or two from their experiences. William Oxley, a partner at one of the state’s larger firms who is identified as an attorney “… who defends companies in asbestos cases and other product liability and mass tort cases” said he agreed that California is a more plaintiff-friendly jurisdiction, and thought the Legislature and the California Supreme Court need to take action to balance the playing field.
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