Are Floridians Wasting Billions on Litigation? A New Report Says Yes

Daily Business Review
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

By Raychel Lean
According to a financial and economic report by Texas-based forecasting firm, the Perryman Group, Florida’s excess civil litigation costs are higher than the national average, costing billions of dollars and resulting in roughly 126,000 lost jobs.Tort reform advocates, Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse, commissioned the report, which claimed Floridians have lost roughly $7.6 billion of personal income a year to excess litigation costs.
The report claims that “exorbitant” damages incurred in civil cases, such as high attorney fees and “inflated” past medical expenses, divert money from the economy and put businesses under undue financial pressure, which eventually translates into lost earnings and job cuts.
But critics say the findings are undermined by the special-interest tort reform group that commissioned the study, and say the group failed to look at the civil justice system’s role in stemming death and injury.

‘Widely Inflated’ Numbers
Not everyone agrees.
“We would call this report little more than a public relations gimmick,” said Joanne Doroshow, director of the Center for Justice & Democracy, who said the economic forecasting service conducts studies “on behalf of the special interests who pay them.”
The way Doroshow sees it, the numbers are “widely inflated” and “have no relation to the actual costs of the legal system.”
Doroshow pointed to a 2005 study by the Economic Policy Institute, which claimed that tort litigation costs had been “exagerrated” and that reform could even slow job growth by making it harder for people to pursue claims.
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