Tort System Resources

From the Texas Monthly Archives: 
Hurt? Injured? Need a Lawyer? Too Bad! by Mimi Swartz, November 2005

Center for Justice & Democracy
Spotlight: 75% of Tort Judgments Are Less Than $12,200 

FEBRUARY 4, 2016 
In its most recent study, NCSC found that, “[w]ith rare exceptions, the monetary value of cases disposed in state courts is quite modest.” Seventy-five percent of tort judgments examined were less than $12,200.

Texans for Public Justice: Nuclear-Waste Kingpin Helps Anti-Lawsuit PAC Raise $6.9M
Texans for Lawsuit Reform (TLR) PAC raised a record $6.9M in the 2010 election cycle with help from its No. 1 donor: nuclear-waste kingpin Harold Simmons. To reduce the cost of negligently harming other people, the PAC took 12 cents of every dollar it raised from Simmons. Not coincidentally, this billionaire is imposing unprecedented liabilities on Texans by importing staggering volumes of toxic and radioactive waste into West Texas. Lobby Watch also finds that many of TLR's biggest new donors are righteously litigious dudes. Access Texans for Public Justice report.

Civil Justice System Uncovers Abuse and Neglect of Elderly Americans: A new AAJ report shows how litigation holds nursing homes, insurance companies accountable when they target nation’s seniors.  The report illustrates how the civil justice system is the most effective force in uncovering abuses by corporate nursing homes and insurance companies that target elderly Americans. October 7, 2010.  Access Release or Download full report.

Center for Justice & Democracy: Explaining the civil justice system - The Center for Justice and Democracy has just added a permanent new feature on their website named "FAQ" (Frequently Asked Questions). You will find quick answers to such common questions as: what is "tort reform"; do lawyers file "frivolous" lawsuits; do jury awards come out of my pocket; and what about that McDonald's coffee case, anyway? Learn more.

More from CJ&D: 
    Jury Verdicts are Consistent and Conservative, June 2010
. Learn more.
    Punitive Damages Rare, Reasonable and Effective, June 2010. Learn more.
    Facts About Civil Litigation in the US, June 2010.  Learn more.
    Asbestos Cases Are NOT Overwhelming US Courts, June 2010.  Learn more.
    The Truth About Medical Malpractice Litigation, June 2010.  Learn more.

AAJ Report: ALEC’s Pro-Corporate, Anti-Consumer Mission, May 2010. Front group ghostwrites the law for corporate America on behalf of oil, drug, asbestos, and insurance interests.  The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has secretly taken millions of dollars in corporate money to infiltrate state legislatures and push legislation that, amongst other anti-consumer measures, would give complete immunity to asbestos manufacturers and undermine recently-passed health care reform.  Access Press Release or Full Report

American Constitution SocietyJudicial Hostility to Litigation and How It Impairs Legal Accountability for Corporations and Other Defendants May 2010 by  Scott A. Moss, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Colorado Law School.  In this Issue Brief, Professor Moss explains how the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence since the 1990s has moved away from treating litigation “as an important tool for redressing grievances, deterring wrongdoing, and spurring social reform” toward a negative view of litigation, a view that emphasizes litigation’s burdens on defendants. Read more.

AAJ: U.S. Chamber’s “Lawsuit Climate” Survey: Five Things to Know, March 2010The U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform released their annual “lawsuit climate” report, a survey of corporate defense lawyers from multi-million and billion dollar businesses.  But as is the case with much of their past rhetoric, this “study” is long on corporate spin and short on facts.  The methodology has been debunked and ridiculed year after year by academics, scholars, media, and independent experts.  Learn more.

Americans For Insurance Reform: Towers Perrin - “Grade F” for Fantastically Inflated “Tort Cost” Report, Padded Data Still Show Costs Lower than 1983 Levels, Jan 2010. "The insurance industry-consulting firm, Towers Perrin, issued a “study” in December 2009 that estimates what it calls the overall “cost” of the U.S. tort system in 2008. Towers Perrin puts this figure at a whopping $254.7 billion, saying this translates to $838 per person. These figures are highly unreliable and completely inappropriate for evaluating the U.S. tort system. They have been effectively debunked over and over again."  View: Executive Summary, Full Report

Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 12/09, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Liability Survey: Inaccurate, Unfair, and Bad for Business. "It is surprising how little Chamber respondents know and how unresponsive they are to changes in their legal environment. This raises a question about the quality of the lawyers who respond to the survey."  
Conclusion, Full Report