LRANY’s Thomas Stebbins joined David Lesch on Today’s Verdict to talk about lawsuit lending and the high cost of municipal liability in New York City
Wall Street hedge funds are cashing in on New York’s legal feeding frenzy by financing “mass tort litigation” over prescription drugs and medical devices in exchange for a piece of the action when the cases settle, the “Judicial Hellholes” report reveals.
The result is an “unfair playing field for defendants,” the report says.
Tom Stebbins of the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York called the funding “the latest money-making innovation for the lawsuit industry.
“Our civil-justice system has been converted into a profit center,” Stebbins said.
“Financiers draw out cases to maximize return, not ensure fairness in the system.”
The situation led the New York City Bar Association to issue a formal ethics opinion in July, barring lawyers from cutting funding deals with non-lawyers.
That edict, intended “to protect the lawyer’s independence of judgment,” followed a New York Times report on a boom in litigation financing by hedge funds.
The Times article, published in June, cited analyst estimates that litigation funding was a burgeoning, $10 billion industry.
The New York Daily News ran a story about the renewed push to reform New York’s costly construction liability law, the “Scaffold Law”:
Critics of a controversial state law that makes construction companies 100% liable for work-site injuries are pushing for an overhaul of the statute amid ramped-up talks on a massive new train tunnel project.
Those opposed to the so-called “Scaffold Law” — the only one of its kind in the country — say it could add up to $300 million to the cost of the Gateway project to bring a new tunnel underneath the Hudson River to better accommodate Amtrak and NJ Transit. President Trump and Gov. Cuomo met recently to discuss the fate of the project.
And they argue it’s already increased insurance costs.
New York City is being tort-ured.
The Big Apple is drowning in so many frivolous lawsuits — over everything from food packaging and advertising to the design of retail websites — that the city’s court system has become one of the nation’s worst places for civil justice, a damning report out Tuesday reveals.
The American Tort Reform Foundation will give New York City the dubious distinction of placing No. 3 on its annual list of “Judicial Hellholes” where plaintiffs lawyers run amok with the help of accommodating judges and do-nothing lawmakers.
The report, a copy of which was provided to The Post in advance, turns up the heat on the city’s court system, which has previously come under fire from the ATRF for the “brazenly plaintiff-favoring ways” of a special court for asbestos-related personal injury suits in Manhattan Supreme Court.