PA’s Dismal Civil Justice Ranking Highlights Need for Reforms
The American Tort Reform Association’s 2020 “Judicial Hellholes” report reveals a harrowing new truth about Pennsylvania’s judicial system – both the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court have been given the No. 1 spot on its annual ranking of the most unbalanced, unpredictable and just plain terrible judicial systems in the nation.
The PA Chamber has long held that an overly litigious and plaintiff-friendly judicial framework – particularly in Philadelphia – have caused the state to miss out on countless dollars in investment, since businesses commonly evaluate litigation climates when deciding where to invest.
Shortly before the report was issued, Gov. Tom Wolf further cemented Pennsylvania’s embarrassing ranking when he vetoed H.B. 1737. The bill – which the PA Chamber took the lead on advocating for and which nonprofits, daycare centers, schools, medical professionals and more joined us in supporting – would have provided organizations that are following state and CDC-issued health guidelines with targeted and temporary safe harbor protections, ensuring that unwarranted lawsuits are one less financial concern as they work to keep their doors open throughout this pandemic.
In the absence of these reforms, trial lawyers will continue to view the pandemic as an opportunity to line their pockets. In fact, a Deep Root analysis of KANTAR ad occurrence data shows that the law firm Morgan & Morgan has spent nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in the Philadelphia media market in an attempt to seek COVID-19 related cases. Additionally, law firms in the region have also been promoting the creation of “vaccine practices” to go after companies that have been working tirelessly to produce the COVID-19 vaccines that are needed to get the world through this dark and trying time.