We have all been bombarded with advertisements on the latest and greatest ways to lose weight and shape up. From crazy food diets to silly exercise equipment, they all promise to help you shed pounds with little to no effort.

Most people know the best way to be healthier is to eat better and exercise. For those people, we created a salad dressing that is featured on the Biggest Loser that tastes great but doesn’t have a ton of calories. We were and are fortunate to have our product and our small business featured on the show.

But with the increase in visibility and sales came a lawsuit. We were sued because a woman claimed that using our salad dressing caused her to gain weight. When asked how much dressing she used, we were told she used up to two bottles a day! Despite the absurd claim, we were forced to settle the lawsuit, because it was cheaper to do so rather than fight it.

Because cost of the lawsuit and the settlement was so high, we had to stop the expansion of our business and raise the price of our salad dressing. In the end, not only was our business hurt, but consumers who enjoy our dressing were hurt too, with higher prices.

During the settlement, one of the plaintiff’s attorneys came up to us to apologize for starting this lawsuit, stating that he thought we were a much bigger company. He admitted they did not have a case against us at all, and that the lawsuit was just to generate money and income for themselves.

Stories like ours are repeated all too often throughout California. Small businesses face absurd lawsuits, are forced to settle, and at the end of the day consumers pay the price. In fact, a family of four pays about $3,300 every year in a “lawsuit tax” to cover the cost of lawsuits.

We need reforms to help quell lawsuit abuse. Without reform, lawsuit abuse will continue to hurt small businesses, reduce opportunities for job creation, and raise prices for consumers. Don’t let what happened to our business and countless others continue. Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week is a time to encourage reform and support California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse on their quest to stop lawsuit abuse. We are proud to support this worthy cause. Click here to tell your legislator that it’s time for legal reform to end this nonsense.