Tort Abuse in California?

The Desert Sun has an editorial on “tort abuse” that provides the following statistic: “Tort (sic) costs amount to $865 billion nationally each year — or 6.5 percent of the gross domestic product. That’s a lot of lost economic output.”

Can we get a footnote? And while I don’t want to get too demanding, how about citing the actual study that supports this figure? It is absolutely outlandish. Does the Desert Sun have any criteria for what it will publish?
Here’s another great one: “California also ranks near the bottom when it comes to farm owners’ tort losses — that is, how much farm owners pay when an outside vendor sues them for an injury incurred on the farm owner’s property. These losses translate into higher food prices for consumers everywhere.”

Okay, ah, exactly how much does this cost California? And what exactly do you propose to do about it? The editorial has no call to action. Instead, it is a laundry list of complaints. It adds nothing to the intellectual discourse on this subject. Look, reasonable people are making the argument for tort reforms, although not many are complaining about California, a state with some of the most Draconian laws against accident and injury victims, including an awful $250,000 cap on in California on noneconomic damages. But while tort reforms have a cogent argument – albeit one with which I strongly disagree – this Desert Sun editorial does not help their cause.

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