There are many reasons that California is ranked as the #1 Judicial Hellhole in the United States, including widespread abusive ADA lawsuits,shakedown Proposition 65 lawsuits or food litigation. But if some legislators get their way, things could get even worse. I’m referring to AB 2171, introduced by Assemblyman and Chairman of the Assembly Judiciary Committee Bob Wieckowski. If passed and signed by the Governor, it will set California’s legal climate even further back and encourage lawsuit abuse.

How? Simply put, AB 2171 provides yet another vehicle for shakedown lawsuits. It requires residential care facilities for the elderly to comply with an enormous list of new requirements using very subjective language. If any facility resident believes the facility hasn’t met these requirements, the bill empowers them to file a lawsuit seeking civil penalties against the facility. Translation: this bill enables any resident unhappy with any aspect of their stay at the facility to file lawsuit against the facility.

As of 2013, there were over 7,500 licensed RCFE’s in the State of California with a capacity of 174,108, and this number is growing by the day.

AB 2171 is simply going to generating a whole new cottage industry of shakedown lawsuits for plaintiff’s lawyers, who are eager to find reasons to sue each and every one of these facilities. Any violation of these new rights is enforceable through a private lawsuit. Even technical violations of the bill’s ambiguous requirements would be enforceable through lawsuits.

It’s no wonder the plaintiff’s lawyers have declared this one of their top priorities during this legislative session. California is already the nation’s worst “Judicial Hellhole” – we do not need more lawsuits, and our underfunded court system cannot handle them. By creating new ways to sue businesses, AB 2171 will only drive up the cost of care for the elderly.

AB 2171 is just one more example of plaintiff’s lawyers attempting to bend the system to line their pockets at the expense of ordinary people.