Nuclear Verdicts, Litigation Tourism Shake Up Rankings on Judicial Hellhole List

December 19, 2023

For the first time in the history of the Judicial Hellholes report, two jurisdictions – Georgia and Pennsylvania’s courts – share the unfortunate ranking of landing at the top of the list. The report was recently issued by the American Tort Reform Foundation (ATRF).

What is the Judicial Hellhole report? ATRF has been issuing these reports since 2002 to identify concerning trends, including lawsuit abuse and misuse of the court system.

Georgia maintained its position at the top of the list because of yet another year of high nuclear verdicts and liability-expanding decisions by the Georgia Supreme Court. Pennsylvania joined Georgia at the top of the list because of a late-breaking venue decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that will increase litigation tourism and an almost $1 billion verdict out of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Additionally, the report notes that there was a flood of medical liability litigation in Philadelphia due to a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision that eliminates an important rule governing where lawyers may file these cases.

With Georgia and Pennsylvania tied for first place, Cook County in Illinois occupies the number two spot on the list, followed by California, New York City, South Carolina, Lansing, Michigan, Louisiana and St. Louis.
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