Personal injury lawyers target Florida businesses

Create Jobs, Not Lawsuits Florida Lawsuit Abuse Trial Lawyers

Can lawsuit abuse destroy small businesses? Sadly, it can. Here’s what one small business in Florida had to share about their lawsuit nightmare.

 “My husband and I own a small business. We are ready to shut our business down because the legal climate here in Florida is a nightmare for small businesses like us. We have no resources to combat billionaire [personal injury lawyers] who are clearly using the law to bully people into settlements that are not deserved.

Our legal defense fees have skyrocketed to over $60,000.00.  At this rate, it’s possible we may have to begin eliminating employees.

How is this good for Florida when we’re trying to encourage businesses to come here and create jobs when we can’t even protect those honest employers who are currently already providing Floridians employment?  Must we go bankrupt and close our doors trying to defend ourselves against this legal extortion?”

We have redacted their names since their lawsuit, which is over a wage and hour dispute, is still active, but their experience is one that is recognizable to thousands of business owners.

What’s happening is personal injury lawyers are heavily advertising to recruit employees to sue their employers.  Florida is a particular hotbed: the Sun-Sentinel reported in 2012 that more than 20 percent of the nation’s employee lawsuits for pay and labor violations were filed in South Florida.  They enlist plaintiffs to file lawsuits around issues such as how tips and wages are calculated, whether an employee is eligible for overtime and how that overtime is calculated, whether employees fully utilized and were paid for breaks and lunch, even how the employer paid employees for suiting up for work.  That is just a small, simplified sampling of the types of issues that can be worked into a wage and hour lawsuit. Suffice it to say that there are scores of ways a minor infraction or honest misinterpretation of complex state or federal labor law can be ferreted out to become the basis for a lawsuit. And it doesn’t stop there.

Personal injury lawyers then work to take a single case and recruit more plaintiffs from the company, so they can escalate a case to a collective or class action case. A lawsuit that may have been questionable and/or for a small dollar amount can then quickly grow with damages multiplying for every plaintiff involved, plus attorney fees and defense costs.  Remember: this could be for a claim that an employer didn’t pay an employee for 5 minutes a day of putting on safety gear or checking work email outside of the workplace.

Wage and hour lawsuits have become a very profitable pipeline for personal injury lawyers and for some habitual plaintiffs who have found a new way to make a living – moving from one job to another and then suing their former employers.  This is not how our legal system should be used.

From wage and hour to ADA to slip and fall lawsuits, personal injury lawyers thrive by shaking down small businesses. No wonder small businesses worry about a single lawsuit that can wipe out everything they’ve worked to build.

A small business supporter summed it up like this: “there are two types of small businesses: those who have been sued, and those that are going to be sued.”  Call us crazy, but we think small businesses deserve better than to be a favorite, easy target for personal injury lawyers.

Do you have a shakedown lawsuit story to share? Have you or someone you know been targeted? Leave a comment and share your story. Hearing real stories is the only way people will understand the extent of abuse and how laws have spiraled out of control to create a minefield of “gotcha” lawsuits.

Leave comments


A project of Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse, Sick of Lawsuits is an online network of people who are interested in restoring integrity to our justice system by addressing issues surrounding legal reform. We encourage citizens to be empowered as legal consumers, take action against abuses, and help restore common sense and fairness to our legal system.


Contribute today to fight back against lawsuit abuse and help restore fairness to our legal system.

Donate Now