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Civil Court Caseload

March 07, 1994

This is in response to the letter (Feb. 28) from Charles A. Pernice of the Orange County Trial Lawyers Assn., in which he responded to an earlier letter by William Thomas. Pernice writes: "Thomas lashes out against consumer rights, arguing that personal injury suits involving automobiles and medical malpractice are clogging our judicial system, and therefore must be eliminated and replaced with no-fault insurance and caps on damages. He should be reminded that personal injury cases account for only 10% of all civil filings in California."

Where, oh where, did Pernice get those figures? I can't speak for the entire state, but I can certainly speak for Orange County, and the Superior Court personal injury filings average around 55% of all civil filings, not 10%. Furthermore, lawsuits involving automobile accidents and medical malpractice account for approximately 63% of all personal injury cases filed. Reducing the incentive for filing these two types of lawsuits would have a substantial and positive impact on the court's civil caseload, and in fact, the trial delay reduction ("fast track") programs in place in this court and others throughout the state have already had such an effect on automobile accident filings.

MARCIA L. GOODMAN, Staff Analyst

Superior Court, Orange County

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