Throughout the U.S., lawsuit abuse accounts for more than $160 billion in high tort costs and an estimated loss of $143.8 million in lost wages. With such staggering numbers, one particular organization, the American Tort Reform Foundation (ATRF), established the Judicial Hellholes program to gather and report information on various abuses within the civil justice system in 2002. ATRF defines Judicial Hellholes as places it deems as the most unjust local courts and state civil justice systems in the country and where judges “systemically apply laws and procedures in an unfair and unbalanced manner.” Additionally, the foundation highlights concerning trends related to civil litigation, the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on liability and litigation, and efforts by the trial bar to eliminate arbitration.
ATRF’s 2021 list named eight Judicial Hellholes, including California, New York, the Georgia Supreme Court, the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Cook, Madison, and St. Clair Counties, Illinois, Louisiana, the City of St. Louis, and South Carolina’s Asbestos Litigation. It also ranked states and courts that the foundation intends to keep an eye on in the coming year based on their history of concerning and abusive litigation on its “Watch List.” Keep reading to learn more about current litigation trends and which states have a reputation for frivolous lawsuits.
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