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"Like a Doctor Catching the Disease"

You're the general counsel for the lobby fighting against tort abuse in California. You claim the tort abuse is driving small business away from the Golden State. You've just deliberately parked in a 'no parking' zone to get easier access to the fast food restaurant where you and your son wish to dine. You emerge from the restaurant to find your car towed away. What do you do? Do you phone city hall, the daily newspaper and your city counsel member to complain that there was no "cars will be towed" sign below the "no parking" notice and that you want a refund of your towing fee? None of the above: rather, you launch a class action against the city, its police chief, individual city police officers and of course against the small business (a tow truck company) that towed you away.

Here's a report on the case, about which the president of the tort reform lobby that employed Fred Hiestand had this to say: "I was concerned this might happen. Fred has been fighting against frivolous lawsuits for decades, and like a doctor fighting malaria, he's become infected himself -- and with the worse strain of the disease -- class actions."

At least he didn't include as a defendant the fast-food restaurant for having too little parking. Of course, that would have reduced the size of the class....

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.