Answered Essay: In 2008, torts cost an average of $838 per year for every American. The 2011 update from

In 2008, torts cost an average of $838 per year for every American. The 2011 update from Towers Watson yielded the following key findings. U.S. tort costs increased by 5.1% in 2010. The increase is attributable to the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion and resulting oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Absent the cost from this event, tort costs would have shown an overall decrease of 2.4% in 2010. The U.S. tort system cost $264.6 billion in 2010, which translates to $857 per person, versus $820 per person in 2009.

Are tort cases costing too much? Are Americans too litigious? Is it time for tort reform? What do you think? Remember to give reasons for your opinions.

Expert Answer

Answer

tort, is a civil wrong that causes someone else to suffer loss or harm resulting in legal liability for the person who commits the tortious act.

Are American Litigous or are tort cases costing too m uch

Let’s look at % of GDP spend on litigations across country: Countries like Netherlands and other European countries spend on an average of 0.4%-0.6% while for Canada , the number is 1.19% and for US, a staggering 1.66%. US liability costs are at least four times, higher than the least costly European counties. The similar costs for Japan is 0.3%. ( Mcknight and Hinton, US Chamber Institute of Legal reforms).

We also need to understand that US has one of the highest per capita lawyers in the world. Almost twice per capita than Germany and five times to that of France.

These statistics point to one direction: Americans, on an average, are more litigous than anyone else.

More than the tort reform, what is required are (1) more dispute settlement bodies (2) making people aware the costs of torts (3) onus on courts not to entertain frivolous cases.

No. of lawyers per 1000 of population:

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