Austin, TX- Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA) of Central Texas weighed in today on the faux face-off between Texas Governor Rick Perry and California Governor Jerry Brown, who’ve engaged in a recent and often humorous exchange following Perry’s overt, up-front campaign to lure California jobs to the Lone Star State.
“This has been fun to watch, no doubt,” said Jennifer Harris, spokesperson for Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse of Central Texas. “But we know, as Governor Perry knows, that Texas offers a bright future to small business owners, entrepreneurs, and families who may struggle in California because of high taxes, over-regulations and, of critical importance to CALA, a legal climate that encourages abusive lawsuits.”
Harris chided Governor Brown for remarks that, while providing humor, did not address the issues facing small business owners and families in California.
“Governor Brown’s flippant statement that ‘everybody with half a brain is coming to California’ might be close to the truth…but the whole truth may be that when people put pen to paper and engage their entire intellect, Texas simply makes more sense from the perspective of growing a business, getting a job and providing for a family,” Harris said.
According to CALA, Texas once had the biggest lawsuit abuse problem in the country. Aggressive personal injury trial lawyers played the courts like a litigation lottery. Businesses, including medical practices, were crushed by the costs of excessive litigation, and many simply stayed away, costing the state jobs and economic growth. In response, Texas passed several significant legal reforms, which have helped the state create and retain jobs, allowed small employers to prosper and improved access to health care.
The story of California couldn’t be further from the story here in Texas, Harris said. Leaders in California have repeatedly failed to pass reforms to rein in abusive lawsuits, even though California is continually ranked as one of the most litigious states in the nation and has an unemployment rate that is more than two full points higher than the national average, she noted.
CALA leaders in Texas and California have noted that the differences between the two states was laid bare last year when CKE Restaurants, which owns the Carl’s Jr. franchise, declared the company was planning to move its headquarters from California to Texas. That company halted construction of new restaurants in California, but is expanding aggressively in Texas. When asked why, the CEO specifically cited California’s laws that encourage lawsuits against private businesses.
“When the CEO of Carl’s Jr. specifically cited lawsuit abuse as one reason they were leaving California, it made everyone in the legal reform community take notice. Unfortunately, the leadership in California continue to make light of the situation and substitute humorous asides for a real discussion on the issues.”