More tort changes needed
I applaud the Press-Register’s editorial on the substantial negative impact Alabama’s poor tort environment has on the state economy (“Alabama needs to flee ‘tort purgatory’,” June 24). Despite recent legislative reforms of the tort system, Alabama still has a long way to go.
The Pacific Research Institute’s 2008 U.S. Tort Liability Index, a study I co-authored, found that Alabama ranked among the bottom 10 states nationwide in relative monetary tort losses (some $2.3 billion).
The state is likely to face high costs in the future, as its tort laws rank in the bottom half nationwide. It was classified as a “sinner” state. Alabama unfortunately is not alone in struggling with lawsuit abuse. Indeed, nationwide direct tort costs are roughly equivalent to what the federal government spent last year on public education, transportation, agriculture, energy and scientific research, combined.
LAWRENCE J. MCQUILLAN
Director, Business and Economic Studies
Pacific Research Institute