PCCJR Update — October 4, 2019

PA Legal Climate Ranks 39th**Phila. Mass Tort Inventory Goes Up ** FTC Flags TV Ads ** Venue Shopping Featured on PMA Perspectives 

THUMBS DOWN! U.S. Chamber Survey Ranks PA Legal Climate 39th in the Country!

Pennsylvania continues to lose ground in the US Chamber Institute for Legal Reform’s 2019 survey asking business owners about the legal climate in their states. This year, the Commonwealth ranked 39th in the country. This continues a steady decline from the 37th position in 2015 and the 38th position in 2017.

It’s no surprise that the City of Philadelphia continues to be a factor in the ranking. Respondents cited Philadelphia among the worst litigation environments in the nation. PCCJR believes our ranking will suffer further should the Supreme Court approve a change to the venue rule that would allow more medical liability cases, no matter where they originated, to be considered in Philadelphia’s courts.

ILR survey respondents reported the factors dragging PA down include the enforcement of meaningful venue requirements, scientific and technical evidence, and the overall treatment of tort and contract litigation. (NOTE IN ALL OF THESE AREAS PA WAS RANKED IN THE BOTTOM TEN.)

According to the survey, a state’s litigation environment continues to be important, with most respondents (89%) reporting that it is likely to impact important business decisions at their companies, such as where to locate or do business. What does this mean? Anyone who cares about Pennsylvania jobs and the economy should care about meaningful civil litigation reforms.

Philadelphia Mass Tort Inventory Rises to Near Record Levels

The Legal Intelligencer reports that the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas mass tort inventory is increasing. The paper found an additional 746 mass tort cases filed since the beginning of the year, or an almost 8% increase. The uptick in cases is due in part to the start of litigation over vena cava filters and the new Essure birth control device litigation. Read more.

FTC Flags Potentially Unlawful TV Ads for Prescription Drug Lawsuits

The Federal Trade Commission recently expressed concern that some television advertisements that solicit clients for personal injury lawsuits against drug manufacturers may be deceptive or unfair under the FTC Act.

In a September 24 news release the FTC said it sent letters to seven legal practitioners and lead generators stating that some lawsuit ads may misrepresent the risks associated with certain pharmaceuticals and could leave consumers with the false impression that their physician-prescribed medication has been recalled. The FTC has not identified which legal practitioners and lead generators received letters.

The Dangers of Venue Shopping Highlighted on PMA Perspectives

David Taylor of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association interviews PCCJR’s Curt Schroder, Pennsylvania Health Care Association’s Zach Shamberg and the Hospital and Healthsystem of Pennsylvania’s Warren Kampf about the danger to medicine if venue shopping returns to PA. Watch PMA Perspectives here.

In the News:

Step on a crack…| Own a home in Philadelphia? There’s a lawsuit on your doorstep that you might not know about | Pennsylvania Record
Is a baby doc shortage coming to Pittsburgh? | Study says Pittsburgh risks shortage of OB/GYNS but doctors say they’ve got it covered | Pittsburgh Post Gazette

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