Viewing blog posts written by Gino DiCaro


Push-back on baseless public nuisance lawsuits is working across the country

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Nov. 14, 2018

Since officially beginning one year ago, the Manufacturers’ Accountability Project (MAP), for which CMTA is an ardent supporter, has tallied a series of wins in its campaign to push back on the baseless public nuisance lawsuits being filed against manufacturers all across the country. From exposing the legal flaws in these lawsuits at events across the country to seeing these suits dismissed from courts in California to New York, the MAP had an exciting and successful first year standing up for manufacturers in America.

Even with these promising developments, there is plenty of work to be done. Just one successful lawsuit could open the floodgates to costly litigation at the expense of manufacturers. With cities appealing the rulings against them, manufacturers will continue to face costly court battles, spending resources that could otherwise go to creating jobs or investing in new technologies.





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CA super tort lawsuits setting dangerous national precedent

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Aug. 13, 2018

More than 1.3 million Californians work in manufacturing and more than twelve million men and women nationally. We simply can't undermine the fairness of our nation’s legal system, our manufacturing base, and our economy with the emerging and baseless "super tort" lawsuits that have come to the fore in California. To that end, the National Association of Manufacturers' Lindsey de La Torre of their Manufacturing Accountability Project wrote an elucidative piece this week for California Political Review on the impact of these lawsuits and the need for the U.S. Supreme Court to consider and hear these cases - primarily the ongoing lead paint case - to shut the door on this dangerous precedent.


Baseless Lawsuits May Begin and End with California  --   By Lindsey de la Torre - Executive Director of NAM's Manufacturers Accountability Project.

August 10, 2018

Californians may not know it, but their courts are creating an unprecedented “super tort” that could be used against anyone that makes and sells a lawful product. Today, it is paint and tomorrow it could be you or your company.

In February, California’s Supreme Court surprised many experts by declining to review a high-profile case against paint and pigment makers that has been in the state’s court system since the early 2000s. In unprecedented rulings, the lower courts are making three companies pay more than a billion dollars to remove lead paint from all private homes built before 1951 across 10 California counties. The only option left for the companies is to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

To some, this may not sound like a case of national importance, but it is. Lawsuits that seek to pursue businesses for money, regardless of wrongdoing, have been tried for four decades. In the past, state courts have stopped this including in Rhode Island, New Jersey and Illinois. This case is the first time a state high court has allowed this type of deep pocket jurisprudence to stand ... READ MORE ON CA POLITICAL REVIEW





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CMTA President opines on lawsuits shaking down CA manufacturers in the name of climate change

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on March 22, 2018

In an op-ed published by The Sacramento Bee, California Manufacturers & Technology Association President Dorothy Rothrock highlighted California manufacturers’ leading role in tackling the global problem of climate change and how new lawsuits will not help:

California manufacturers are big players in the state’s efforts to address climate change. The largest companies are regulated through a program that will greatly reduce emissions and grow the economy at the same time. The result will be a win-win for jobs and the environment.

Yet the climate liability litigation filed by eight California municipalities against manufacturers are actually discouraging those efforts.  These lawsuits stack a large financial burden on manufacturers, businesses and consumers in California, while enriching trial lawyers:

A big payday for the trial attorneys, not a solution to global climate change, is the main motivation for these suits. The attorneys and municipalities don’t care that their lawsuits hurt California’s ambitious climate change policies. . . . 

The unjustified lawsuits will add costs to energy manufacturers by forcing them to defend or settle the cases. Those costs will be passed on to consumers, other manufacturers and businesses that depend on fuel for transportation and production. Piling these new costs on top of the reasonable costs related to cap and trade could push production out of state along with their emissions. 

Rothrock also highlights the blatant discrepancies between the lawsuits filed by the municipalities and their bond offerings when it comes to climate change risks:

San Mateo County claims that it is “particularly vulnerable” to sea-level rise and that there is a 93 percent it will experience a “devastating” flood before 2050. Marin County is even more certain, calculating a 99 percent risk of a devastating flood before 2050. But contrast that with bond offerings in 2014 and 2016 where investors were told that the county “is unable to predict whether sea-level rise or other impacts of climate change or flooding from a major storm will occur."

The Manufacturers Accountability Project is leading the national charge on these lawsuits and they are focused on exposing the questionable motives of the trial attorneys, city governments and activists that are involved in targeting manufacturers in the United States. 





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