February 6, 2003
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER JOSEPH BRUNO'S
OBSERVATIONS ON TORT REFORM:
BUSINESS COUNCIL PRESIDENT DANIEL B. WALSH
Senator Bruno's vision of tort reform in New York would make the Empire State a more prosperous state-and a more just one.
For too long, lawsuit abuse in New York State has cost New Yorkers billions of dollars a year in higher costs of health care and insurance, and needlessly inflated local taxes.
Tort reform is especially compelling in these tough budget times, when Albany must contain its costs without undermining New York's business climate or unduly hampering local governments and school districts.
Targeting tort abuse while protecting victims' legitimate rights will benefit all New Yorkers. Costs of everyday goods and services will fall. Auto insurance rates will go down. So will other insurance costs. Property taxes will decline, and municipalities will have less fear that encouraging families to visit city playgrounds will risk excessive jury verdicts.
And the case for tort reform has never been more compelling.
Note: The Public Policy Institute, the research affiliate of The Business Council, has done extensive research on lawsuit abuse in New York State and its effects on the business climate and local government costs. Studies are available on the Web at http://www.bcnys.org/whatsnew/1998/acciddrm.htm and at www.bcnys.org/ppi/drive.htm.