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Business Owners Discuss "Shakedown Lawsuits"

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Updated: 7/12/2013 5:41 pm
Dozens of small business owners gathered in Chico Friday to discuss what they call “shakedown lawsuits.”
The two biggest threats right now according to California's Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse are complaints involving the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Toxic Enforcement Act otherwise known as Prop 65.
That law requires businesses to warn customers if there are cancer causing chemicals they could come in contact with.
Many times a business will receive a letter offering to drop the case if the business makes the necessary changes and pays the attorney a large sum of money to avoid a court hearing.
Lawmakers say they are hoping to modify the rules to include a small fine and a corrective period, before anyone can sue for large sums of money.
"80 percent of these lawsuits would vanish, because once the money dries up you trial lawyer is leaving,” Tom Scott, the Executive Director of California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse said.

About a dozen advocates for disabled Americans also came to today's meeting to discuss their concerns, but said they do not believe the lawsuits are the best avenue for change.

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