Tort Monster

“The [American] litigation industry consumes some $230 billion a year – or $3,000 for every family of four – in higher prices and insurance premiums.” (The Economist, 31 July 2004, p31)

It is common knowledge that lawsuits are out-of-control in the United States, but this figure shocked me. The high numbers suggest two possible conclusions: 1) there is simply too much money being awarded and spent on legal costs, or 2) the awards and spending are appropriate, in which case the law isn’t working to deter bad behaviour by corporations and individuals. Either way the system is broken.

Three thousand dollars. And people complain about taxes.