South Florida Earns a Spot on the List of "Judicial Hellholes" for the Ninth Year in a Row

Categories: Crime
Judicial Hellholes.jpg
Another year has just about gone by, which means it's time for South Florida to appear once again on the American Tort Reform Association's list of "judicial hellholes."

Every year since 2003 -- when they actually just picked Miami-Dade County -- South Florida has maintained its spot among the crappiest civil justice systems in the nation.

"Traditionally, Judicial Hellholes have been considered places where civil judges systematically apply laws and court procedures in an unfair and unbalanced manner, generally against defendants in civil lawsuits," ATRA President Tiger Joyce says in the association's announcement. "The jurisdictions we name as Judicial Hellholes each year are not the only unfair courts in the nation, but they are among the most unfair, based on our survey of litigants and considerable independent research."

According to the ATRA, "perennial judicial hellhole South Florida" makes the list once again due to "auto-accident fraud racketeers."

Here's the short summary from the ATRA:

South Florida, known for its aggressive personal injury bar, is the national epicenter of excessive and fraudulent automobile insurance litigation and tobacco lawsuits. The state's insufficiently rigorous standard for admission of expert testimony contributes to its reputation as a Judicial Hellhole. While the state legislature has made steady progress in reasonably limiting liability in certain areas, the Florida Supreme Court's record of striking down such legislative efforts leaves observers cautiously optimistic at best.

With a nice shout-out to a cover story on 411-PAIN by New Times' own Lisa Rab, the report highlights the "personal injury protection" system that practically begs for fraud to be committed.

Gov. Rick Scott has highlighted PIP in recent months as one of his top priorities for reform, but until then, it's still going on.

The report from the ATRA also highlights a case about a circuit court judge in Miami-Dade tossing out a pretty huge class-action lawsuit against Tire Kingdom, and the fact that Florida courtrooms are some of the best for Philip Morris and friends.

The ATRA did note that South Florida was making progress, but, seriously, nine times on the list is a bit ridiculous.

The American Association for Justice, on the other hand, thinks it's all bogus.

"This year's edition of the report was basically the same recycled report from previous years that has been debunked and ridiculed for lacking any "apparent methodology" and for being little more than corporate propaganda," says the organization's communication director, Ray De Lorenzi.

De Lorenzi sent us this link to his organization's retort to the ATRA report.

ATRA's announcement and full report can be found here.


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10 comments
Pete Pepper
Pete Pepper

When I first heard of tort reform, I, like many, had no idea of what it was.  Then I studied and figured it out.  Sure, it will save millions..to the corporations.  Tort reform is simply making sure no one can sue the corporations for whatever they may do. Lets say they add lead to milk for some reason.  The consumers of that milk will get sick.  And despite the fact that these corporations deliberately added lead, a known toxic substance, those consumers are not allowed to get restitution for their illness caused by that substance.  THIS is what tort reform actually does.

ZangKoo2
ZangKoo2

lol, is anyone actualyl surprised by this? I mean like seriously. www.Total-Privacy dot US

nanook5
nanook5

every wonder why when a company or government cripples you for life, your compensation is capped at just a couple million regardless of what a jury awards you? it's because of corporate front groups like the american tort reform association. after all these years, why is the press still blowing these "frivolous lawsuit" wolf criers?

http://sourcewatch.org/index.p...

Mattcyd
Mattcyd

way to be ignorant, congrats did you "study" up on that reading google?  No one should be for frivolous litigation (if you even know what that means).  Valid suits are valid suits, tort reform merely favors legitimate claims

Mattcoyd
Mattcoyd

most ignorant comment I have ever read, really get a job.

datruf
datruf

thats what judges are for, to review the lawsuits and let the ones with merit pass and the ones that are bogus get dismissed.  tort reform has almost nothing to do with the act of frivolously filing a lawsuit, it refers to the cap that states impose on awarded damages, and guess who gets to pay the extra medical costs when the cap is set too low to cover the ongoing care of an individual who was permanently injured? thats right its you and me, the taxpayer because they have to go on medicaid.  tort reform is a way for large companies that get sued a lot to  make the taxpayer act as their own free insurance company.  there should be no cap on damages whatsoever. TORT REFORM STRIPS YOU OF YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO EXPRESS YOURSELF AS A JUROR, and in states where tort reform has been struck down that is the most used reason.   if you think too many frivolous lawsuits make it in front of a judge then the judges are really whos to blame.  we elect so few of them and so many are appointed, yet they exert such control over a good number of state jurisdictions.   why are corporate front groups getting into local states judicial elections more and more?  mmmmm? bottom line is every judge in america should be elected, not appointed.  the supreme court is the most prime example of appointed judges holding our country back.   citizens united....  jesus f#cking christ!!!!   corporations literally have more freedoms than humans in america at this moment, you realize?

nanook5
nanook5

bullshit. liability caps are not dependent on whether the lawsuit is "frivolous" or not.

furthermore, the evidence speaks for itself when it comes who the real criminals are, all those "evil slip n fall scam artists" or the companies who serially escape liability for owning empires built on abusive environments (walmart) create massive environmental disasters and destruction and pay the bare minimum to people who they've poisoned and killed (bp, dow chemical, massey) as they profit to billions every year.

while it's completely off topic, it is also pandemically linked to the foreclosure courts who nationwide are kicking out thousands regardless of whether or not the foreclosure is legal, and our own federal justice department which is now known for how many massive crimes it does not prosecute, most notably anything and everything in regards to the war on terror and the financial crash. justice here is a joke.

Mattcoyd
Mattcoyd

just going to guess you haven't gone to law school, ummm k right

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