Small business owners in California look to stop frivolous lawsuits

If you own a business in California, then you probably have a reasonable expectation that at some point your company will be involved in a legal dispute. With the help of a business law attorney, you may be able to resolve the matter in a cost-efficient way without going to trial.

The question of whether to settle or litigate is common among California business owners. Over the course of fiscal year 2012-2013, 7.7 million lawsuits were brought against small businesses in California, according to California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse, a non-profit group. Business owners who have been sued understand all too well that many lawsuits are filed by people who are "fishing" for reasons to sue. The problem is that often times it is less expensive to settle the case rather than aggressively defend against the frivolous claim. Consumer attorneys are attempting to exploit that reality. Lawmakers are currently looking for ways to curb the number of frivolous lawsuits filed against small business owners, though legislative action on the matter remains to be seen.

In many cases, small business owners are sued for alleged technical violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In many instances owners of convenience stores and other retail establishments have been sued by handicapped persons that have never even attempted to entire their business premises. A daily check of lawsuit filings will reveal that it is the same group of consumer attorneys with the same group of plaintiffs filing these claims throughout the state, looking for some nominal settlement before filing a nearly identical suit against another California business.

Lawsuits distract from normal business operations. To protect against time-consuming and costly litigation, it is important to have a full-service law firm on your side. Our business law overview has more on resolving disputes in and out of court.

Source: NBC Los Angeles, "Small Business Owners Feel Victimized by "Love Affair With Lawsuits," John Cadiz Klemack, Sept. 26, 2014 

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