This bill creates a process for private individuals and organizations to bring public enforcement actions on behalf of and in the name of the State of Oregon for violations of statute or rule for which a state official has the power to enforce.
Born out of the California Private Attorney General Act, PAGA, it establishes procedures for persons to bring legal action in the name of the state to recover civil penalties for violations of state laws. It provides for the distribution of civil penalties recovered.
Fear of a lawsuit has always been a concern of many small-business owners, even more so during this pandemic. Allows plaintiff’s attorneys to sue private businesses on behalf of the state, resulting in a no-win situation — either settle out of court to minimize out-of-pocket costs, or even worse, try to defend the case and end up paying sizable attorney fees. It’s a simple money grab at the expense of the taxpayers.