Friday, October 5, 2012

‘Bounty hunter’ lawsuits are destroying California businesses

Yep!  I talked about this before in my old blog.  CA is a litigation lawyer's dreamland.
Another favorite target of lawsuit “bounty hunters” is California’s Safe Water & Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Prop 65). The law requires the state to publish and update a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. This list now includes nearly 900 chemicals and requires businesses to notify Californians about any possible exposure to significant amounts of these chemicals.

There is no scientific evidence that posting signs informing citizens about possible chemical exposure has led to lower cancer rates in California. There is, however, ample evidence that lawyers are milking businesses that don’t post signs. There are even law firms specializing in these lawsuits, as well as law firms promising to defend business owners from them. Private law firms reached 327 settlements worth $15.9 million in these cases in 2011 alone, of which $12 million went to attorneys’ fees.

These numbers underestimate the true damage to California businesses. After businesses are forced to dole out thousands of dollars to settle these lawsuits, customers foot the bill through higher prices. Some employers may have to lay off employees or make salary cuts, while others are forced to close up shop or consider moving out of state.

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