As The Post reported Tuesday, New York City has the dubious distinction of ranking as America’s third-worst “judicial hellhole” — and Nos. 1 and 2 are whole states.
The folks at the American Tort Reform Foundation produce a yearly “Judicial Hellholes” report, which regularly puts the Big Apple near the top . . . or bottom, really.
As ATRF’s president notes, city courts are awash in suits where “there really isn’t any particular kind of injury.” For example:
- Attorney C.K. Lee allegedly made millions using recruited, visually impaired plaintiffs to shake down businesses alleging accessibility problems.
- Queens resident Arik Matatov used the Americans with Disabilities Act to legally blackmail 50 Manhattan stores for not having wheelchair ramps — until The Post exposed him as able-bodied.
- A 2017 study found that 22 percent of all “frivolous food lawsuits” nationwide were filed in the city — over claims like one over a bucket of chicken that didn’t look like the one in the KFC ads.
- Or the Brooklyn federal suit complaining that famed Greek yogurt maker Chobani is run by a Turk whose factory is in upstate New York, not Greece. (After two years of litigation, the company settled out of court on undisclosed terms.)
It’s a huge business: City trial lawyers spent $6.4 million on 22,000 TV ads over three months this year to recruit plaintiffs. They also spend big in Albany — buying legislators to prevent reform.
Litigation costs passed along to consumers ding each New York household an estimated $6,600 a year. Will any lawmaker stand up for the little guy against these parasites?
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