California Passes Law Preventing the Mention of Immigration Status in Personal Injury Lawsuits
California Governor, Jerry Brown, recently signed Assembly Bill 2159 into law. The Bill will prohibit the introduction of evidence related to a person’s immigration status in wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits. The bill effectively overturns a 30 year old court case providing that such evidence was admissible. Since that case, evidence of immigration status was being introduced by defense attorneys and insurance companies in support of their arguments that the compensation for future damages to the injured person should be less. However, individuals in favor of the new law argued that this information was being used to prejudice juries against the person who was injured.
The law will take effect on January 1st, 2017. The law deals a big blow to the insurance companies as it will allow injured victims to have their cases decided on the merits without the potential for prejudice due to their residency status. The case is a shot in the arm for plaintiff and personal injury attorneys who are already at a severe disadvantage when squaring off against insurance companies who spend large amounts to promote their anti-plaintiff propaganda. The Bill was supported by the Consumer Attorneys of California of which Charles Tony Piccuta of the Piccuta Law Group, LLP is a member.