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Annual Cost of Lawsuit Abuse in New York


With an estimated 19,011,378 citizens (source: US Census Department), lawsuit abuse costs the State of New York:

$13,707,203,538 per year.

Lawsuit abuse is infecting the healthcare system in New York and depriving its residents of gaining access to affordable care and services. Consider some of the symptoms of the state's broken medical liability system:

  • The American Medical Society has identified New York as one of 19 states facing a medical liability crisis.

  • In New York, defensive medicine costs each person from $320 to $536 per year in extra healthcare spending. The Post Standard / Herald Journal, June 3, 2003

  • Long Island is facing a shortage of radiologists. People seeking mammograms are forced to wait up to six months because many radiologists refuse to do the screening out of fear of being sued if something is missed. The New York Times, May 25, 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 New York? If so, you can:

  • Contact your local New York State Assemblyman-- and tell him or her that you are Sick of Lawsuits!

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

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