Thursday, September 09, 2004

There is no lawsuit crisis

Why you're right:

1. The number of cases filed is going down. The number of tort filing in state courts (where the vast majority of such cases are filed) declined 5% between 1993 and 2002. (National Center for State Courts)

2. The average awards to successful plaintiff's are plummeting. The average award for a successful plaintiff in state court has fallen from $65,000 in 1992 to $37,000 in 2001. (Bureau of Justice Statistics)

3. Medical malpractice awards are not significantly increasing the price of health care. President Bush has said "major cost drivers in the delivery of health care are these junk and frivolous lawsuits." Costs associated with medical malpractice account for less than 2% of overall health care. (White House, CBO)

Why they're wrong:

When people get injured someone has to pay. So-called "tort reform" simply shifts the burden from the people responsible for causing the injuries to the people who are injured. Those who bring up frivolous claims are thrown out of court.