My thesis is that the large and growing number of costly tort liability claims in America is doing damage to the overall economy. Take the Bronx (my place of birth) as an example. This borough is now a an area of high crime and poor education, but it’s also typified by liberal treatment of defendants. It’s an area were insurance companies don’t want to sell libability insurance. If they do sell it, they charge a lot for premium.
For examples, I know of one medical malpractice case where the facts pointed to an obvious conclusion that the child had been abused by his mother. Nevertheless, the judge wanted a finding of liability against the hospital where he was born. Why? Because the hospital had insurance, and the child needed help. This sort of unjust verdict may be good for an abused child, but the overall practice is bad for the Bronx’s economy. Hospital costs will be higher. Businesses will go elsewhere.
What’s true of a borough is true of the country, though to a lesser degree. Much manufacturing can be moved to other countries. High tort liability costs are one factor in driving employment opportunites out of the United States, thus making us all poorer. High tort liability costs against public entities take money from other worthwhile governmental activities, such as educaiton, public safety, libraries, etc.