THE LAWYERS KILLING N.Y. By LAWRENCE J. MCQUILLAN & HOVANNES ABRAMYAN – New York Post Online Edition: Postopinion
The lawyers. In 2002, injured claimants received only 46 cents for every dollar paid by insurance companies for tort losses.
The President's Council of Economic Advisers estimated the excessive costs of the tort system nationwide were $136 billion in 2000 – equivalent to a 2 percent tax on consumption, a 3 percent tax on wages, or a 5 percent tax on capital. The same methodology puts today's excessive costs at more than $198 billion a year – equivalent to a tax of $2,654 on a family of four.
To put that in perspective, in 1950, America's tort system cost only $93 per person (adjusted for inflation).
Leaders in other parts of the country are making common-sense reforms to repair our out-of-control tort system. Many states, for example, cap the amount a jury can award for non-economic damages, which are designed to compensate plaintiffs for hard-to-quantify costs like "pain and suffering" or "mental distress." Studies show that such caps lower insurance costs and litigation rates.