Philadelphia is Nation’s #1 Judicial Hellhole

American Tort Reform Foundation releases its 2019 report on Judicial Hellholes

Harrisburg, PA– Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas takes the top spot as the country’s worst place to be sued, in a report issued today by the American Tort Reform Foundation (ATRF). Pennsylvania Coalition for Civil Justice Reform (PCCJR) Executive Director, Curt Schroder, issued the following statement on the designation:

The American Tort Reform Foundation’s Judicial Hellhole Report is a searing rebuke of the litigation climate in Philadelphia.  Anyone not getting rich off $8 billion verdicts should be very worried about the injustices of the city’s civil courts.

Outrageous Philadelphia verdicts feed the litigation industry by allowing “Billboard Lawyers” to pump more money into advertising to attract out of state litigants who have no business bringing their case in Philadelphia.  These “litigation tourists” exhaust resources and delay justice for Philadelphia residents who rightfully seek redress in their courts. 

While a handful of attorneys become enormously wealthy attempting to put health care innovators and employers out of business, the impact is born by all of us through increased prices and the resulting drag on our economy. 

Once again, I suspect the Philadelphia Bar Association and other apologists will rush to the defense of a court system that allows them to pillage under the guise of “justice.” I call on attorneys, judges, and citizens to recognize the valuable public service ATRA has provided in documenting the deficiencies of the Philadelphia courts and work toward a system of civil justice that treats ALL parties with fairness.”

Each year the American Tort Reform Foundation ranks the top 10 Judicial Hellholes.  The rest of the top 10 in ATRF’s rankings were California, New York City, Louisiana, the City of St. Louis, Georgia, Illinois’s Cook, Madison and St. Clair Counties, Oklahoma, Minnesota Supreme Court and the Twin Cities, and the New Jersey Legislature.

View the full report and read more details on Philadelphia’s designation at

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December 10, 2019

Contact: Curt Schroder, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Coalition for Civil Justice Reform

(717) 461-3577

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