We’ve all seen it before — an ad for an ambulance chasing law firm that usually features a cheesy headshot and a hotline that’s something like 1-800-INJURED. For the law firm responsible for the ad, the goal is obvious: A lucrative settlement that includes a hefty payout for the trial attorneys.
Likewise, attorneys that file suit under a harmful California law known as the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) have a similar goal in mind. This law continues to help line the pockets of unscrupulous trial attorneys at the expense of our state’s small businesses, nonprofits, and even labor unions.
PAGA allows aggrieved employees to file suit against their employer for even the most minor violation of the California Labor Code. But, it’s the attorneys who file these suits, not the employees, who benefit the most. Over the years, PAGA has become a cash cow for many trial attorneys — we’ve even ranked the law firms that have filed the most PAGA lawsuits in our Hall of Shame.
That’s why on Tuesday, March 10, the California Business and Industrial Alliance (CABIA) launched a mobile billboard near the California state house in an effort to educate legislators and the public on how trial attorneys use PAGA to get rich off of the state’s businesses.
Part of the inspiration for the billboard came from one attorney Daniel Gaines, who hails from Gaines & Gaines — a law firm well-known for filing suits under PAGA. In fact, the firm ranks 4th in California for the number of PAGA claims it has filed.
Mr. Gaines drives a Rolls Royce donning a license plate that reads “MR PAGA.” Don’t believe us? Just check out this picture. It’s not enough that Mr. Gaines has made a career out of targeting California business owners, apparently he has to flaunt it as well.
But Mr. Gaines isn’t the only one getting rich from PAGA. In addition to our list of well-known PAGA filers, we’ve also written extensively about the network of consultants profiting off of the law. These consultants help law firms locate potential PAGA plaintiffs with the express purpose of going after businesses.
The digital billboards, which were displayed on a truck that drove a loop around the California state house in Sacramento, can be seen here and here.
Learn more about how CABIA is advocating for PAGA reform, or consider donating to our fight here.