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Moore: Workers' Comp Judicial Hellholes Report, 2018 Version

  • National

The workers' comp judicial hellholes was taken from the American Tort Reform Foundation’s Judicial Hellholes for 2018-2019. The Judicial Hellholes publications that referred to workers' compensation also appeared in 2013.  

James Moore

James Moore

I do not agree or disagree with any of the findings in the report. My main goal was to inform the blog and newsletter readers. One has to judge for himself.  

A search for workers' compensation inside the report produced two results.   

If you would like to follow along, download the report using the link above. The report consists of 84 pages covering the ATRF’s top judicial hellholes.  

The list of the overall judicial hellholes are:

  1. California. 
  2. Florida.
  3. New York City.
  4. St. Louis.
  5. Louisiana. 
  6. Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.
  7. New Jersey Legislature.
  8. Madison and St. Clair counties, Illinois.
  9. Twin Cities, Minnesota.


The first mention of the term "workers' compensation" is at the bottom of page 35. The report heavily questions why the current Pennsylvania governor vetoed a bill to regulate pharmacies more heavily. 

The report covers an astounding article by the Philadelphia Enquirer. The graphic on how a pharmacy network was used to exploit the workers' comp system is very interesting. The graphic caused my jaw to hit the floor. 

New Jersey

The second mention of workers' compensation judicial hellholes appears on page 37.  Legislation seems to have increased the amount of compensation attorneys will receive for representing clients in New Jersey. 

Before the legislation was enacted, New Jersey attorneys could bill only for a percentage of what their representation increased the file, not from the full value of the case. S. 2145 now allows for fees based on the full value of the case.  

West Virginia (not in the 2018 report)

West Virginia appeared in the 2013 hellhole article. The state did not appear in this issue for workers' compensation. 

The Mountain State’s Supreme Court controversy stole most of the thunder. West Virginia did appear on a watch list for their Supreme Court problems.  


From my days as full-time claims handler, I have noticed a large number of reforms that have been enacted over the last 30 years. Some of the states that I would have listed as workers' comp judicial hellholes have eliminated many of the concerns through legislation.

This blog post is provided by James Moore, AIC, MBA, ChFC, ARM, and is republished with permission from J&L Risk Management Consultants. Visit the full website at www.cutcompcosts.com.

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