Project Lawsuit Abuse:
Stories from the Frontlines of Lawsuit Abuse

Posts for Economy

Why West Virginia Needs Legal Reform

The numbers are in for West Virginia’s economy, and they aren’t good. The state lost 7,000 jobs in 2013, ranked last in job creation and had the nation’s lowest labor participation rate. Sounds like some changes are needed, right?

As West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse points out, one change that would have a major positive impact on the state is an improvement in the legal climate. Currently, West Virginia has a reputation as Judicial Hellhole, where plaintiffs’ lawyers win big at the expense of everyone else. Reducing the lawsuit burden through legal reforms would allow small businesses to grow and create jobs, and improve the overall quality of life for West Virginians.

Ten Years of Reform in Mississippi!

In the early 2000s, Mississippi – home of notorious trial lawyer Dickie Scruggs – had a reputation as the nation’s capital for “jackpot justice.” One outrageous verdict after another drove businesses away, and high malpractice premiums left the state’s healthcare system in a crisis. Jefferson County, a favorite venue of trial lawyers, had more plantiffs in mass tort lawsuits than residents!

But in 2004, the state legislature took steps to turn the state around through common sense legal reforms, like caps on damages and restrictions on venue shopping. Since the landmark reforms, Mississippi has attracted new jobs – including a Toyota manufacturing plant as a direct result of legal reforms – and medical liability insurance premiums have fallen more than 60 percent. 

How Much Are You Paying to Personal Injury Lawyers Each Year?

Last week was tax day, which we all know means that it’s time for us to all fork over our share to Uncle Sam. But what you may not know is that on top of the taxes that we pay to the government, we’re all paying an additional hidden tax – the “lawsuit tax.” 

No matter where you live, excessive lawsuits drive up costs for consumers. More litigation equals fewer jobs, more expensive products and decreased innovation. In fact, each of us pays around $857 a year in lawsuit taxes! That means a family of four pays a lawsuit tax of at least $3,500 a year. 

West Virginians Want Jobs, Not Lawsuits

If you’re a faithful reader of our blog, we don’t have to tell you twice: abusive lawsuits hurt our economy. And West Virginians should know that fact as well as anyone else, from first-hand experience. West Virginia’s legal climate is clearly out-of-step with the rest of the country, with the state consistently earning a spot as a top Judicial Hellhole.

West Virginia’s economy reflects its poor legal climate. Report after report ranks the state as one of the worst places to do business, and West Virginians have long felt the financial impact. 

Florida Needs Jobs, Not Lawsuits!

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, providing two-thirds of all new jobs. But lawsuit abuse threatens small businesses, hurting their ability to grow and create jobs that we all need. 

That’s why a thriving economy and legal reform go hand in hand – as such, we’re hardly surprised that the Florida Chamber of Commerce identified legal reform as the number one priority for 2014, saying that lawsuit abuse is one of the chief obstacles in preventing small businesses from succeeding. 

Standing with Small Businesses in the Fight Against Lawsuit Abuse

Recently, we told you about Sick of Lawsuits’ Small Business Summer, which we launched to draw attention to the negative impact of lawsuit abuse on small businesses and ensure that the voices of small business owners are heard. As part of these efforts, Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse groups around the country have been holding all sorts of rallies, roundtable discussions and forums to spread the word. 

Check out some of the highlights below!

Lawmakers Need to Stand Up to Lawsuit Abuse in West Virginia!

As we’ve told you before, West Virginia is the only state in the nation without an automatic right of appeal. This fact means that defendants often don’t receive fair chances to tell their stories in court. It also drives away businesses and jobs. 

In 2010, West Virginia lawmakers attempted to halfheartedly address this issue by requiring the West Virginia Supreme Court to provide written explanations when it rejects an appeal.

Report Shows Reform’s Impacts and Celebrates Ten Year Anniversary

At Project Lawsuit Abuse, we frequently talk about the benefits that tort reform has brought to Texas, but today we have another example of proof.

To mark almost ten years after Texas passed its expansive tort reform measures, the Heritage Foundation’s Texas Public Policy Foundation reviewed the impacts that these reforms have had on both jobs and health care in the state.  Both cases mark record success. 

Small business summer tour highlights impact of lawsuit abuse on small business owners

Editor's Note: Project Lawsuit Abuse regularly highlights lawsuit abuse news from across the country. Today, Travis Akin, Executive Director of Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch, contributed a guest post for Project Lawsuit Abuse.

Small business owners face many challenges – especially here in Illinois where businesses have to deal with onerous regulations, high taxes and fees and a culture of lawsuit abuse.

For example, an owner of a small grocery store told me he often thinks about leaving Illinois and opening up a store in a more business-friendly environment. He said every year his business is the target of litigation.

West Virginia Needs Jobs, Not Lawsuits!

For the second year in a row, CNBC ranked West Virginia as one of the worst states in the nation for doing business. This ranking doesn’t surprise us – after all, West Virginia also has one of the nation’s worst legal climates! In short, the state has a whole lot of lawsuits and not a lot of jobs.

A number of factors contribute to West Virginia’s horrible legal climate. For one, the state is the only in the nation without an automatic right of appeal! This fact means that defendants in court are denied their fair chance to tell their stories, and it drives away jobs and businesses.