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Annual Cost of Lawsuit Abuse in Massachusetts


With an estimated 6,379,304 citizens (source: US Census Department), lawsuit abuse costs the Commonwealth of Massachusetts:

$4,599,478,184.00 per year.

Lawsuit abuse is infecting the healthcare system in Massachusetts and depriving its residents of gaining access to affordable care and services. Consider some of the symptoms of our broken medical liability system:

  • Massachusetts' medical device makers play a key role in the state's economy. According to the government's last economic census in 1997, 264 medical device companies in Massachusetts employed more than 20,000 workers, paid out annual wages and salaries of $989 million and shipped $4 billion in products annually. Increasing numbers of lawsuits and class-action litigation against these device makers poses a significant impact on the physical and economic welfare of Massachusetts residents. "Venture Capitalists Eye Medical Devices" Worcester Telegram and Gazette, May 6, 2003.

  • According to a recent study by the Massachusetts Medical Society, 75 % of Massachusetts residents agree that not reforming the current medical liability system will risk the loss of hundreds of doctors from the healthcare system in the state. Massachusetts Medical Society, April 9, 2003

  • A recent report in the Quarterly Journal of Economics estimates that limiting unreasonable jury awards could cut healthcare costs by 5-9%, which would save $70-126 billion in healthcare costs per year. Saving this money would lower the cost of healthcare coverage and permit an additional 2.4 - 4.3 million Americans to obtain medical insurance. Going without Health Insurance, Families USA, March 10, 2003; "Number of Uninsured Americans On the Rise," Associated Press, March 5, 2003; " Avoiding Health Insurance Crowd-Out," Journal of Health Economics, March 2000

  • In a July 2003 study conducted by Harris Interactive, 43% of doctors reported that they have avoided prescribing a particular medication because they were aware that the drug might be involved in litigation. Pharmaceutical Liability Study, Harris Interactive, July 15, 2003

  • 75% of suppliers of biomaterials used to make medical implants banned sales to U.S. manufacturers because of litigation fears. Although the Biomaterials Assurance Assistance Act of 2000 aimed to remedy this by providing important legal protections to suppliers in liability lawsuits, numerous medical device producers choose to remain overseas. Study by New York-based Aronoff Associates for HIMA entitled "Biomaterials Availability: a Vital Health Care Industry Hangs in the Balance ; "How FDA Regulation and Injury Litigation Cripple the Medical Device Industry" Policy Analysis 412, August 28, 2001

  • An estimated $50 billion per year is spent on unnecessary test procedures designed only to guard doctors and hospitals against malpractice claims. "Do Doctors Practice Defensive Medicine?" Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1996

Get Involved

Are you tired of lawsuit abuse in Massachusetts? If so, you can:

  • Contact your local Massachusetts State Representative -- and tell him or her that you are Sick of Lawsuits!

  • Contact your Massachusetts State Senator-- and tell him or her that you are Sick of Lawsuits!

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