Trenton, NJ – A new organization has been launched to improve New Jersey’s civil justice system in an effort to make the state a more attractive place to live and do business. Headed up by Marcus Rayner, former district director for Congressman Mike Ferguson (NJ-7), the New Jersey Lawsuit Reform Alliance (NJLRA) is will be working to reduce the $7.6 billion burden that lawsuits place on the state’s citizens and businesses.

“I am excited about the opportunity to lead this new organization and help improve our civil justice system, which is increasingly a target for out-of-state trial lawyers seeking generous damage awards,” said Rayner. “NJLRA’s members know that the legal environment can play a significant role in encouraging, or discouraging, jobs and business.”

More than 30 leading companies and organizations are members of NJLRA, including the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey and the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce. NJLRA’s members share a concern for a number of disturbing trends that demonstrate the need for reform:

  • There has been a 164 percent increase in the number of complex mass tort cases in backlog in the New Jersey Court System since June of 2006.
  • An esti

    mated ninety percent of New Jersey �s pharmaceutical mass tort cases are filed by out-of-state residents.
  • New Jersey received a “dishonorable mention” in the American Tort Reform Association’s Judicial Hellhole report

“Unfortunately, lawsuit abuse is a growing problem in New Jersey where an increasing number of out-of-state lawsuits are being heard that would not make it to trial in other states,” noted Rayner. ATRA’s Judicial Hellhole report notes that New Jersey is one of the top destinations for “litigation tourism” in the country.

“This is a time when New Jersey needs to be fostering jobs and businesses, but this litigation in combination with the actions of some of our courts are instead exposing employers to excessive liability,” said Rayner. “NJLRA’s policy agenda will tackle the legal reform issues that are of concern to our members, which means it will be good for business and good for New Jersey .”

The New Jersey Lawsuit Reform Alliance (NJLRA) is a statewide, bipartisan group of businesses, individuals and organizations committed to improving the State’s civil justice system by advocating for legal reforms in the legislature and in the courts. NJLRA believes a balanced civil justice system is critical to ensuring fair and open courts, maintaining and attracting jobs and fostering economic growth in New Jersey . NJLRA is the only organization in New Jersey dedicated exclusively to civil justice reform.