Indeed, litigants often come before a court in California and elsewhere seemingly mismatched in the extreme by comparative differences in the power and resources they command.

A plaintiff, for example, might be a single person with limited means who is squaring off against an international business possessed of nearly incalculable wealth and clout. Conversely, state power in all its impressive dimensions can be directed against one resource-strapped defendant.

The American legal system has historically anticipated that potential in any given case and correspondingly established judicial safeguards that help ensure a fundamentally fair process and playing field.

As noted in one recent legal complaint filed in a California court, a plaintiff alleges that some of the country’s largest workers’ compensation insurance underwriters acted thousands of times over many years in a manner that “evidenced a total disregard for the integrity of the judicial system.”

What the plaintiff’s complaint contends is that the defendants employed investigators who “implemented a scheme to wrongly engage in continuous cyber attacks” that illegally procured the confidential legal files of workers’ compensation plaintiffs seeking judicial remedies in work-related injury cases.

Reportedly, opposing attorneys in the plaintiff’s case — who are also named as defendants — produced the plaintiff’s confidential intake packet during a court hearing and, upon questioning from the judge, could not explain why it was in their possession or how they had received it.

The plaintiff — who seeks class certification of his complaint — is demanding damages across a wide spectrum from the defendants, alleging among other things fraud, invasion of his privacy and interference with prospective economic advantage.

Source: Courthouse News Service, “Major workers’ comp insurers hacked legal files, class claims,” Mike Heuer, July 1, 2015

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