All five Los Angeles County Supervisors presented California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse with a proclamation recognizing Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week and our efforts to bring balance to the civil justice system at their October 27th meeting. The proclamation declared that: civil litigation costs individuals, small businesses and our courts billions of dollars each year; and that often times people exploit our justice system in the hopes of gaining wealth; resulting in lawsuits motivated by greed and not justice; and that abusive claims can detract from communities by diverting local resources from important municipal services, public safety programs and schools.
The Board understands the consequences of abusive litigation on society and its impact on important government services all to well. Their recognition is timely.
Recently, the Los Angeles Daily News exposed that Los Angeles County’s legal expenses, lawsuit settlements and verdicts jumped by 20 percent in one year to $60 million, while budget shortfalls forced severe cuts to countless other programs.
In the article, Supervisor Gloria Molina said she was concerned about the large number of lawsuits settled "behind closed doors to hide millions of dollars in approvals." She described the phenomena as a "constant cover-up." We agree with Supervisor Molina and the Board that LA County’s government needs transparency and accountability on legal settlements. We need to end this waste of taxpayer dollars.