Businesses Quake Over California Case

Wine. Avocados. Litigation?

The state Supreme Court has agreed to weigh in on a case that could determine whether 17200 suits become another California export.

The justices voted unanimously Wednesday to decide whether companies based outside California can be sued under the state's unfair competition laws if they advertise in-state via billboards, newspapers and the Internet.

Several Nevada casino hotels, including Harrah's, had petitioned the court for review after a Los Angeles appeal court ruled in March that they could be sued by a man seeking class action status on behalf of all California residents hit with a $3-per-night energy surcharge while staying in Las Vegas, Reno or other gambling towns.

The ruling sent a shudder through the gaming and hotel industries, which envisioned thousands of lawsuits by residents of California, which, according to published reports, is Nevada's top market. But attorneys for the casino hotels said the decision also should worry businesses nationwide.

Details here from The Recorder via

My thoughts about another recent (and frightening) 17200 case are here. Or you can read an entire damn blog on the topic.