For Release — Monday, April 28, 2003
STATEMENT FROM BUSINESS COUNCIL PRESIDENT
DANIEL B. WALSH
ON NEW YORKERS' ATTITUDES TOWARD LAWSUIT ABUSE
"New York's runaway tort costs are extracted, one way or another, directly from wallets of New Yorkers. Today's poll confirms the obvious: New Yorkers want to repeal this state's odious tort tax.
In 1996, total liability costs in New York amounted to $14.3 billion per year. That's nearly $800 per New Yorkers, and it was 28 percent above the national average. Lawsuit abuse inflates the costs of everyday goods and services and of municipal taxesbecause businesses and governments alike must pay higher insurance costs to compensate for this inflated risk of excessive judgments.
This explains why support for tort reform is broad and deep. Large and small businesses, individuals, farmers, local governments, school districts, manufacturers, insurers, contractors, physicians, and countless professional groups and associations from throughout New York State all support tort reform. And New York's Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer, has indicated that he, too, supports one key reform designed to bring sanity to out-of-control judgments against municipalities.
The case for tort reform is always compelling. New evidence that New Yorkers overwhelmingly support this reform make this strong case for curtailing lawsuit abuse even more powerful."