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Civil justice reform as an element in jobs, economic growth

Lawrence McQuillan and Hovannes Abramyanof the Pacific Research Institute have been drawing on PRI's "2010 U.S. Tort Liability Index" for columns that connect the costs of the civil justice system with economic growth and jobs.

The recommendations for California are particularly apt. From "How Lawsuit Reform Could Help California Recover":

Asbestos awards in California's more plaintiff-friendly counties such as Alameda and San Francisco average $3 million more than in other counties, according to an article in the American Bar Association Journal. Every business day, on average, personal injury lawyers also file nearly five class-action lawsuits in the Golden State. That destroys jobs in California.

Entrepreneurs prefer to start, expand, or relocate businesses in states with balanced tort systems that discourage excessive litigation. These decisions matter a great deal. In 2006, job growth was 57 percent greater in the 10 states with the best tort climates than in the 10 worst states.

Business leaders remain leery of California because of its sky-high tort costs and skewed courtrooms, where business defendants lose at trial 65 percent of the time. The fear of lawsuits also causes companies to withdraw or withhold beneficial products.

Also, at AOL News, "Here's one way states can create jobs."

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.