SACRAMENTO – The state of California recently ranked 48th in the nation in an annual lawsuit climate poll, falling two spots from a year ago, reflective of tensions felt by business investors.
The 2019 Lawsuit Climate Survey: Ranking the States, conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), questioned senior business executives about the fairness and reasonableness of state court systems.
“Reasons for California’s low ranking abound, including litigation connected to the state’s infamous Prop. 65 law, abusive litigation over the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), laws that allow private plaintiffs’ lawyers to sue as if they were the state’s attorney general, and eye-popping jury verdicts,” an ILR press release states. “...While the state has a large economy, the poor perception of California’s legal climate should be a concern. That’s because a record-high 89 percent of survey participants said a state’s lawsuit environment is likely to impact their company’s decisions about where to locate or do business.”
The low ranking comes as no surprise to business experts who have first-hand experience with the struggles of conducting business across the state.
“California’s litigious environment makes it difficult to invest and scale up long term manufacturing operations in the state,” Gino DiCaro of the California Manufacturing and Technology Association said in a statement. “From climate change public nuisance lawsuits to (Private Attorneys General Act) lawsuits, to a litany of others, it’s hard for good actor employers with lots of investment potential to make decisions to come here over other locations.”
According to the poll, the 2019 Lawsuit Climate Survey: Ranking the States is the 12th time The Harris Poll has conducted the survey since 2002 for the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.
"The final results are based on interviews with a national sample of 1,307 in-house general counsel, senior litigators or attorneys, and other senior executives who are knowledgeable about litigation matters at public and private companies with annual revenue of at least $100 million," the press release states.
Editor's note: The Northern California Record is owned by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.