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.
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. Fact sheet (PDF) STATUS: Signed into law by Gov. Brown (effective Jan. 1, 2017)
Preventing prescription drug abuse
SB 482 (Lara) – To address the nation's epidemic of overdoses caused by prescription drug abuse, requires doctors to check the existing statewide pharmaceutical database to curb doctor-shopping and other abuse. Fact sheet (PDF) Robert Woods Johnson Foundation: Require prescription database use (PDF)
Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, narrates "Lost in the Fine Print," a short documentary detailing the injustice of forced arbitration.
SB 1065 (Monning) – Streamlines appeal process when judge rejects use of forced arbitration in elder abuse cases, ensuring that frail victims facing their final days can see a resolution of their cases. Fact sheet (PDF) STATUS: Signed into law by Gov. Brown (effective Jan. 1, 2017)
SB 1241 (Wieckowski) – Restricts the corporate practice of forcing plaintiffs to travel to distant states to fight a dispute in forced arbitration. Also protects consumers from having their rights under California law stripped and their cases decided under unfair consumer laws in other states. Fact sheet (PDF) STATUS: Signed into law by Gov. Brown (effective Jan. 1, 2017)
AB 2879 (Stone) – Strengthens protections for military veterans and reserve guard by prohibiting mandatory arbitration over civilian job disputes when military personel are called to duty. Fact Sheet (PDF) STATUS: Failed in Assembly
Protecting Passengers on Charter Buses
SB 247 (Lara) – Will enact safety requirements for charter buses, requiring they have emergency equipment by July 1, 2017. Fact sheet (PDF) STATUS: Signed into law by Gov. Brown (safety requirements take effect in 2020)
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 any right to sue the polluter. Fact sheet (PDF) STATUS: Vetoed
Streamlined civil justice
AB 2427 (Chau) – Proposes changes to civil legal procedure to make the pursuit of civil justice more seamless, efficient and cost effective. Fact sheet (PDF) STATUS: Signed into law by Gov. Brown (effective Jan. 1, 2017)