Consumer Attorneys of California is the first line of defense in the state Capitol and at the ballot box to protect consumer legal rights. Each year bills are introduced by big tobacco, insurance, HMO and other corporations to restrict or eliminate your legal rights. CAOC is there to fight such "tort reform" measures to ensure that every Californian has access to the courts. We also sponsor legislation to protect consumer legal rights and work through the state budgetary process to ensure adequate funding of California's civil justice system.
Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, narrates "Lost in the Fine Print," a short documentary detailing the injustice of forced arbitration.
SB 1241 (Wieckowski) – This bill would restrict the corporate practice of adding provisions to consumer contracts that force people to travel long distances to other states to fight a dispute. It also would protect consumers from having their rights under California law stripped because a case is transferred to a distant venue. Fact sheet (PDF) STATUS: Approved by Senate
SB 1078 (Jackson) – Addresses issues of bias and lack of fairness in consumer arbitrations by strengthening current rules related to marketing activities of private arbitration companies. Prevents profiting by arbitration companies if they've been removed during an arbitration for violations of ethical rules or disclosure requirements. Fact sheet (PDF) STATUS: Approved by Senate
AB 2879 (Stone) – Strengthens protections for military veterans and reserve guard by prohibiting civilian employers from forcing them into mandatory arbitration over civilian job disputes arising when they are called away on behalf of our nation.
Fair compensation for injured immigrants
AB 2159 (Gonzalez) – Ensures fair compensation for undocumented persons injured through no fault of their own. The 1986 decision in Rodriguez v. Kline limits them to the level of compensation they would receive in their native country for future lost wages and even medical costs. This bill prohibits the introduction of a plaintiff’s immigration status in personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits.
Preventing prescription drug abuse
SB 482 (Lara) – Requires doctors to check the existing statewide prescription drug database to curb doctor-shopping and other abuse. Fact sheet (PDF) Robert Woods Johnson Foundation: Require prescription database use (PDF) STATUS: Approved by Senate
Protecting Passengers on Charter Buses
Helping environmental disaster victims
AB 2748 (Gatto) – An outgrowth of the devastating Porter Ranch natural gas leak and Excide battery plant lead contamination disaster in Los Angeles County. It prohibits polluters from preying on vulnerable residents forced out of their homes by offering safe housing in exchange for waiving their right to sue the polluter. Fact sheet (PDF) STATUS: Passed Assembly
Streamlined civil justice
CAOC 2013-2014 Legislative Report (CAOC members) (pdf)
CAOC 2013 Legislative wrap up (pdf)
CAOC 2013 Legislative wrap up (CAOC members) (pdf)
Join the Legislative Review Committee (pdf)