Latest Symptoms of a Broken System

Annual Cost of Lawsuit Abuse in South Carolina

 

With an estimated 4,063,011citizens (source: US Census Department), lawsuit abuse costs the State of South Carolina:

$2,929,430,931 per year.

Lawsuit abuse is infecting the healthcare system in South Carolina 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:

  • According to a recent study conducted by Harris Interactive for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, South Carolina's liability system was ranked the ninth worst in the country in creating a fair and reasonable litigation environment. 2003 U.S. Chamber of Commerce State Liability Systems Ranking Study Final Report Conducted for: U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform by Harris Interactive, April 4, 2003

  • The average medical malpractice jury award in South Carolina is $80,000. "Why Juries Turn Against Doctors" National Law Journal, July 14, 2003

  • According to the American Tort Reform Association, Hampton County, South Carolina is one of eleven "judicial hellholes" in the U.S. The American Tort Reform Association. Bringing Justice to America's Judicial Hellholes, October, 2002

  • 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 South Carolina? If so, you can:

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

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

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