Forbes: America’s Ongoing Tort Litigation Nightmare

“Tort litigation costs Americans more than $250 billion, that’s the equivalent to 2.2 percent of GDP and roughly $838 per person, according to Towers Watson.  This has real economic consequences. In healthcare alone, it’s estimated that tort reform could eliminate up 27 percent of medical costs. In other words, 27 cents of every healthcare dollar goes toward litigation. How does that help lower- and middle-class families struggling to make ends meet?

A case study on America’s tort crisis is playing out in New York.  In 2004, a young physical therapist was tragically paralyzed after she pulled a piece of exercise equipment on top of herself. The equipment, a Cybex leg extension machine, was not broken or faulty.  Rather, the machine tipped because the therapist wasn’t using it properly – she was standing on the side of the machine pulling backward in order to stretch. Nevertheless, she was awarded the largest personal-injury verdict in Western N.Y. history, a whopping $65 million.”

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