New reports from the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) reveal the lengths to which Pennsylvania’s plaintiffs attorneys will go to tilt the scales of justice in their favor. Courtesy of plaintiffs attorneys massive spending on political contributions and legal advertising, Pennsylvania has gained a reputation as one of the nation’s worst judicial hellholes. The commonwealth is plagued by nuclear verdicts (verdicts over $10 million) and an unpredictable and nonuniform civil court system. One needs to look no farther than the significant number of medical malpractice cases that are currently flooding the Philadelphia court system in search of jackpot pay days. The result is irreversible injury to our economy and health care.

The first study found that since 2017, the state trial bar’s political action committee (LawPAC) and the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers’ Association’s PAC (the Committee for a Better Tomorrow) have amassed more than $15.3 million in contributions. According to the report, the campaigns of state Supreme Court Justice Daniel McCaffery and Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Maria McLaughlin have been the top two recipients of plaintiffs attorney contributions, receiving $1.8 million and $1.1 million, respectively, since 2017. Millions of more dollars went to other successful candidates. The report also notes that due to Pennsylvania’s campaign finance laws, it is difficult to track the full impact that trial lawyers have on the commonwealth’s political environment.