Heritage Foundation (Washington, D.C.), September 18, 2009
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Speaker(s): Panel Discussion (11:00 a.m.)
The Honorable Bill Batchelder
Ohio House of Representatives
Dr. Lawrence J. McQuillan
Director, Business & Economic Studies,
Pacific Research Institute
Keynote Address (12:00 p.m.)
The Honorable Haley Barbour
State of Mississippi
Host(s): Edwin Meese III
Center for Legal and Judicial Studies,
The Heritage Foundation
Location: The Heritage Foundation’s Lehrman Auditorium
The U.S. tort system costs our economy billions of dollars each year. The growth of tort costs has exceeded the growth in GDP by 2 to 3 percentage points over the past 50 years. This is particularly important during an economic downturn when abusive litigation and attempts to regulate through litigation result in such high costs and liability that our economic recovery is diminished or even reversed.
In just one area alone, the huge increase in medical malpractice insurance rates has contributed significantly to the problems in our health care system, making it difficult for doctors to provide care, encouraging the harmful practice of “defensive medicine,” and raising the costs of obtaining quality health care for everyone. Our civil justice system can be protected, improved, and made more efficient, while bringing greater fairness and predictability to market participants and citizens generally.
Governor Haley Barbour will relate his views and experiences in a keynote address. One of his most notable achievements was to lead the State of Mississippi to implement comprehensive tort reform, restoring balance and fairness for plaintiffs and defendants in the state’s civil justice system, and encouraging economic growth and development. Representative Bill Batchelder and Dr. Lawrence J. McQuillan will discuss the economic effects of abusive tort litigation and the advantages of state reform. Rep. Batchelder was a key proponent of Ohio’s passage of tort reform, which was then thwarted by the Ohio courts. Dr. McQuillan is the author of Jackpot Justice: The True Cost of America’s Tort System and the U.S. Tort Liability Index, and co-author of U.S. Economic Freedom Index: 2004 Report.