I commend Gov. Sonny Perdue for his efforts to enact meaningful tort reform in Georgia (“Perdue says tort reform needed,” Jan. 14). During this time of economic crisis, no state can afford to endure the unnecessary costs of an inefficient tort system.
Excess litigation cost America’s economy $589 billion in 2006. That’s equivalent to a yearly “tort tax” of about $2,000 per person. The problem is especially bad in Georgia, which has high litigation risks, according to the Pacific Research Institute’s 2008 U.S. Tort Liability Index, which I co-authored.
Gov. Perdue’s proposal to protect bio-tech companies from frivolous lawsuits would deliver immediate dividends. Holding such innovative businesses liable even after they meet rigorous federal standards is unfair and reduces funds for research into the next round of life-saving treatments.
The tort reforms championed by Gov. Perdue will bring Georgia good-paying jobs it needs. Officials in other states should follow his lead.
Lawrence J. McQuillan, PhD, is director, Business and Economic Studies, Pacific Research Institute, in San Francisco.