ATRA states its disappointment in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision that certain public nuisance climate lawsuits can proceed in state court.
The Twin Cities Added to ATRF’s Judicial Hellholes Watch List
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 9, 2018 – In making a rare midyear addition to its annual “Judicial Hellholes” report, the American Tort Reform Foundation announced that the Twin Cities of Minnesota […]
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 9, 2018 – In making a rare midyear addition to its annual “Judicial Hellholes” report, the American Tort Reform Foundation announced that the Twin Cities of Minnesota have been added to the “Judicial Hellholes” Watch List. Troubling decisions in Twin Cities courtrooms, unprincipled actions by the attorney general and multiple vetoes of common sense reforms by Governor Mark Dayton have earned the Twin Cities the unenviable distinction of being added to our compilation of the nation’s least fair and balanced jurisdictions. A link to the full write-up can be found here.
“Recent developments in Minnesota are sufficiently troubling that we are adding the Twin Cities to our “Watch” list, which signifies that it is, regrettably, a candidate for inclusion on the list as a full-fledged hellhole at year end,” said American Tort Reform Association president, Tiger Joyce. He continued, “We hope that Minnesota’s state leaders will realize the state is heading in the wrong direction and will work to restore balance to their civil justice system.”
Minnesota was selected as a rising jurisdiction on the Judicial Hellholes Watch List ® due to its poor state leadership and liability-expanding court decisions. Earlier this year, Attorney General Lori Swanson paid $125 million in attorneys’ fees to an out-of-state firm hired to manage a lawsuit against 3M for ground water contamination. Despite the fact that there was no evidence of health issues attributable to 3M’s product, this battle lasted seven years and resulted in a settlement of $850 million. Of that settlement, the state paid $125 million in contingency fees to the private attorneys, or roughly $47,000 per day for seven years.
“Our concerns extend to the courts,” continued Joyce. “We saw Judge Amy Dawson from the Hennepin County District Court show troubling disregard for the rights of a defendant in a case involving BNSF Railway Company when she relied on inaccurate data in ordering sanctions against the company and denied BNSF the ability to offer defenses in the underlying case. Cases like this one lead defendants to fear that they will not get a fair shake in the courts in the Twin Cities and throughout the state.”
“These two cases, coupled with the veto actions of Governor Dayton, demonstrate the lack of fairness in the Twin Cities’ justice system. We’re continuing to keep a close eye on the jurisdiction and hope that efforts to address these inequities ultimately will prevail in the “Gopher” State,” concludes Joyce.
The American Tort Reform Association, based in Washington, D.C., is the only national organization dedicated exclusively to tort and liability reform through public education and the enactment of legislation. Its members include nonprofit organizations and small and large companies, as well as trade, business and professional associations from the state and national level.
Business leaders and tort reform advocates have welcomed changes that will limit punitive damage awards in Missouri, John Lewis of the St. Louis Record writes.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has an opportunity to redirect policy and push back on activist attorneys’ attempts to improperly expand public nuisance law. With Covid-19 public nuisance lawsuits coming, Tiger Joyce, president of the American Tort Reform Association, discusses the importance of the climate change lawsuit.
The Missouri legislature passed S.B. 591 to amend the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA) and the standards by which punitive damages are awarded.
ATRA is grateful to both President Trump’s administration and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for prioritizing liability protections for health care workers, manufacturers and business owners.
West Virginia Senate President Mitch Carmichael says legislation is being drafted to ensure liability protections to protect small business owners and workers, especially health care workers who are protecting our state’s citizens amid the Coronavirus pandemic, writes Chris Dickerson of the West Virginia Record.
Today, West Virginia Senate President Mitch Carmichael announced he is drafting legislation which aims to protect West Virginians from liability related to the COVID-19 pandemic. ATRA supports legislative action to […]
Louisiana lawyers spend millions soliciting their services and alarming citizens.
Senate Majority Leader Prioritizes Employer Liability Protection Shield
During a pandemic, where contagious people crowd spaces shared with the uninfected or the healthy, concern over liability is heightened, writes Brandi Buchanan of Courthouse News Service.
As businesses reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic, tort reformers are mobilizing to enact federal and state protections against an anticipated plethora of personal injury lawsuits, writes Amanda Bronstad of Law.com.