ON-Lion Letter
The U.S. Tort Liability Index:  2008 Report, published by the Pacific Research Institute (PRI) in San Francisco, measures the best and worst state liability systems in America.  PRI developed the Index as a tool for policymakers and the public to assess tort systems as they consider improving the business climates of their states.
The Index, prepared by report authors Lawrence J. McQuillan and Hovannes Abramyan, measures 13 "output" variables.  The output variables include monetary tort losses and litigation risks.  It then ranks the states from best to worst.  According to these rankings, the top three state liability systems are in North Dakota, Alaska, and North Carolina.  The bottom three are Florida, New Jersey, and New York.

McQuillan and Abramyan also measure 28 "input" variables and rank the states on that basis, as well.

McQuillan is director of business and economic studies and a senior fellow in political economy at PRI.  Abramyan is a PRI public-policy fellow.  Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush wrote a foreword to their report.

The Index "is a valuable tool for governors, legislators, business leaders, and consumer groups to measure how costly and risky a state's tort system is and to discover which tort rules need reform because they expose the state to lawsuit abuse," Bush writes.

American Justice Partnership (AJP) president Dan Pero agrees.  It is "one of the best new tools to help corporate leaders -- and state lawmakers and judges -- better understand the direct link between a state's legal system and its economic health," according to Pero.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee supports both PRI and AJP.
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