Awash in Lawsuits, Killing Manufacturing and Service Industries

By October 4, 2009Briefly Legal, Economy

Radio talk show host, lawyer and law professor Hugh Hewitt is making the need for tort reform a central part of his public speeches these days, including remarks he’ll give Tuesday in San Diego at a meeting of California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse. From, “The Unemployment Costs Of Our Tort Law System“:

[Even] though I am not a products liability/catastrophic injury lawyer, six of my partners are, and I live the practice with them, know its challenges, and know especially that we have turned America into a tort happy culture, as one would expect if you watch as much cable news as I do and see as many adds for personal injury lawyers as air every day on Fox and CNN.  We are awash in lawsuits, and it is killing not only American manufacturing, but also various service industries where customers come to be entertained or fed or both.  We have been hearing about the high cost of defensive medicine and the burden it places on health care system, and that is indeed a staggering cost, but the same suffocating burden is carried by every industry making things in America or providing food or entertainment, and it drains profits and productivity away from production and growth and thus away from jobs.

As national unemployment creeps towards 10%, remind everyone who points to it as an urgent issue that sustained job growth requires rising productivity, and that is going to require (1)an overhaul of our tort laws in every state and (2)the willingness of corporate America to push back and try cases, not settle them with quick payouts to phoney plaintiffs.  You simply cannot be serious about job growth without seriousness on the issue of repairing our busted tort system.


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