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Florida gains dubious distinction of top ‘judicial hellhole’ for 2017

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Florida tops the American Tort Reform Foundation’s list of “judicial hellholes,” the organization said in its annual report, issued Friday.

“The Florida Supreme Court’s liability-expanding decisions and barely contained contempt for the lawmaking authority of legislators and the governor has repeatedly led to its inclusion in this report,” says the executive summary of the report issued by the Washington-based organization.

Also making the list, in descending order, are California; St. Louis; New York City’s asbestos litigation; Philadelphia; New Jersey; Madison and Cook Counties, Illinois; and Louisiana.

St. Louis topped the list last year, while the Florida Supreme Court and South Florida held the No. 3 spot.

The report said among this year’s encouraging developments is action taken by the Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada state attorneys general against “scheming attorneys hectoring small businesses” with fraudulent lawsuits that allege violations of the American with Disabilities Act.