Perverting the Legal System: The Lead-Paint Rip-Off

National Journal
February 15, 2003

As tort reformers and trial lawyers resume their arcane battles, the costs of and damage done by our burgeoning lawsuit industry are mounting up, all around us. The total dollar amount awarded in the 100 largest jury verdicts in 2002 was more than three times the 2001 total, reports The National Law Journal. The direct costs to society from the tort liability system jumped by an inflation-adjusted 11 percent from 2000 to 2001, to $205 billion-"the equivalent of a 5 percent tax on wages"-according to a study released on February 11 by the actuarial firm Tillinghast-Towers Perrin (whose clients include most large insurers).