A Crying Need for Lawsuit Abuse Reform

The Examiner had a very compelling editorial on the need for tort reform Monday. An excerpt:

That there is a crying need for lawsuit abuse reform is beyond question. …there is substantial evidence of widespread abuse and even fraud at the highest levels of the trial lawyers bar.

The costs to consumers and taxpayers are enormous, as the American Tort Reform Association estimates:

* The cost of the U.S. tort system for 2003 was $246 billion, or $845 per citizen, or $3,380 for a family of four.

* U.S. tort costs increased 35.4 percent from 2000 to 2003.

* The growth of U.S. tort costs have exceeded the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2 to 3 percentage points in the past 50 years.

* The U.S. tort system is inefficient; it returns less than 50 cents on the dollar and less than 22 cents for actual economic loss to claimants.

Clearly, trial lawyers for too long have grown rich by using forum shopping, friends on the judicial bench and, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, fraudulent expert witnesses to make the mere prospect of litigation so costly that even Fortune 500 firms find it cheaper to settle than to seek their day in court.

The judicial system is thus seriously warped against providing justice for businesses and the consumers they serve…

Read it all here.

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