Consumer class actions, multi-million-dollar awards cited

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — If you think the traffic is the worst thing in LA, you may want to stay out its courthouses.

A new study says Los Angeles County is home to some of the most frivolous lawsuits in the nation — a problem so widespread that it makes California the second-worst place in the U.S. to seek justice in the court system.

Known for its often-exorbitant awards and headline-grabbing consumer class actions, California has long been derided for its dubious legal findings, perhaps best encapsulated in this year’s $208.8 million verdict for a single asbestos claimant, the largest ever in state history.

John Sullivan with the Civil Justice Association of California gives some more examples of why the Southland has earned this ranking.

The American Tort Reform Association defines a “judicial hellhole” as a city or state “where judges systematically apply laws and court procedures in an unfair and unbalanced manner, generally against defendants in civil lawsuits”.

Since the group’s inception in 2002, the report focuses on six areas of the U.S. that have developed reputations for uneven justice and the economic consequences of such a reputation.

This year’s worst regions for justice:

1. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2. California (specifically Los Angeles and Humboldt counties)
3. West Virginia
4. South Florida
5. Cook County, Illinois
6. Clark County, Nevada

The report also calls attention to a number of potential “hellholes” around the U.S., including Atlantic County in New Jersey, New York City, and the District of Columbia.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (11)
  1. Rick says:

    Judicial hell hole from whose perspective, corrupt, inept or faulty big business?

  2. Veca Daina says:

    Hell hole?? How about inept service providers and medical nightmares???

    1. kim says:

      yeah they still can’t find there own medical records!

  3. bigjim says:

    Maybe these businesses should treat customers better and stop RIPPING US OFF! I noticed they did not mention or complain about Delaware courts which are the most anti consumer pro business in the country. These businesses will not stop their ranting and crying until we the citizens are forever barred from filing suits against them (that would be the sneeky arbritation clauses they are putting in all contracts) arbitration awards are decided 98% of the time against the consumer. And the anti lawsuit lemings who are too dumb to know they have been ripped off. Becasue if an arbitrator decided against a business thye would be removed from the “approved list” The businesses should be careful when they ban us from being able to sue the only option left will be to kill them for ripping us off or selling bad products. That might not be bad option though. Less hassle and quicker results without all the gamemanship of theatrical liars opps lawyers

  4. J Newton says:

    Los Angeles is a HORROR!

    Even when they drop the case, the system will not show it for weeks.

    Someone has to look into the judicial misconduct at the LA Courthouses. They are writing their own checks to do anything they want. I actually got a hold of the Public Integrity Office at the DA’s Office via Certified Mail. AND STILL NO REPLY!

    The FEDS need to step in and say enough is enough.
    Miscarriage of justice, massaged justice, delivered at the whim of LA Courts is appalling and a disgrace. LA Can do better than this. And those whose job it is to oversee this, The Public Integrity Office with the DA will not bother with a follow up either. When justice doesnt work, and those paid to oversee justice, doesnt work, you got a problem.

    At this rate LA will be #1 on next years list.

    1. Hajiya says:

      I totally agree.

  5. GinRNBSN50 says:

    Gee what about CT???!!!! where things are settled without trials and there is no justice??

  6. Rabbi Pedro says:

    My experience in L A Superior court is that the corporations use the courts as weapons against the consumers. The vast majority of cases filed in LA are corporations suing indivuals, not the other way around. Great “journalism” CBS.

  7. kay sieverding says:

    Who paid for former judge Nottingham’s prostitutes at the Denver Players brothel?

  8. kay sieverding says:

    Colorado is a judicial hellhole, in my opinion. In Steamboat Springs Colorado I was criminally prosecuted for complaining about zoning violations.

  9. Hajiya says:

    Commissioner Elizabeth Harris is the worst judge in Los Angeles County. Her courtroom is a circus and she was about to let someone on a Federal Warrant loose. She makes up excuses for the offenders. I mean that is not the place of a Judge. When a crime is committed , there are legal guidelines and sentences in the book. So she shouldn’t handle this like it’s a family squabble. I am so disappointed .

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