An opinion editorial was recently featured in Forbes written by Cybex International’s President and COO, Arthur Hicks Jr. This editorial titled: Restoring Sanity To the U.S. Tort System, highlights the major obstacles faced by companies in the U.S. to stay afloat with the extensive regulations and trial lawyers hungry to hit the “lawsuit lottery”.
“Much less discussed, however, are the billions of dollars of costs foisted on U.S. businesses by excessive – and in many cases, frivolous – litigation. Unless you’re a trial lawyer, most people know about the absurdity of our tort system. We’ve all seen the ads on TV for class action lawsuits, read about the woman who sued McDonald’s because her coffee was too hot. We’re also aware how medical malpractice lawsuits drive up healthcare costs for everyone.
And while we cringe at these examples of lawyers run amok, we rarely appreciate just how devastating their actions are to U.S. businesses. Simply put, frivolous lawsuits and excessive rewards are putting America’s economic recovery in danger.”
Hicks is no stranger to tort litigation, Cybex International recently settled a case with a Western New York woman for $19.5 million- down from a monumental $66 million, which would have been the largest settlement in western New York history. In this case, the woman was using a piece of equipment incorrectly and sustained severe injuries. The court ruled that this misuse was “foreseeable” and the liability fell on the manufacturer.
Arthur Hicks Jr. hits the nail on the head – frivolous litigation hurts consumers, taxpayers, and businesses and makes America less competitive in an increasingly global economy. Just how big is the impact? One recent study found that reforming New York’s civil justice system could create over 200,000 jobs. Who knew a little common sense could go so far?