Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Governor Sarah Palin's Foreword to the 2010 US Tort Liability Index


Conservatives 4 Palin note that Governor Sarah Palin has penned the foreword for the 2010 Report of the U.S. Tort Liability Index. Where does your state rank?

My home state of Alaska offers incredible beauty, amazing wildlife, abundant natural resources, friendly people, and no individual income tax. Alaska also has the best tort climate in the United States according to the U.S. Tort Liability Index: 2010 Report from the Pacific Research Institute (PRI).

In this top-notch report, PRI scholars analyze the costs and risks of each state’s tort system and conclude that Alaska is best overall. The report, now in its third edition, has been influential because the rankings are based on hard data, not opinions or speculation. The data don’t lie and Alaska is number one for good reasons.

Alaska has the second-lowest monetary tort payouts of any state, controlling for the size of each state’s economy. Our tort costs are particularly low for businesses—another reason for entrepreneurs to locate here. We also have some of the lowest medical liability costs in the country. We appreciate doctors in Alaska and welcome them with open arms, not abusive lawsuits.

Alaska also boasts the lowest relative tort litigation risks of any state. The state may abound in moose but it doesn’t have any “judicial hellholes” skewed to personal injury lawyers. The state also doesn’t have huge outlier jury awards. Its tort caseload is third-lowest in the country and it’s not flooded with lawyers. We practice the rule of law, not the rule of lawyers as in other states.

Alaska’s great tort climate is good for business and for all my fellow Alaskans. As the U.S. Tort Liability Index demonstrates, states with sound civil-justice systems and fair tort rules enjoy lower insurance premiums, increased employment and output, and higher individual incomes. A sound civil-justice system also expands the tax base, yields greater innovation, and lowers health care costs while improving access to health care.

Given these sweeping benefits, all states would do well to follow Alaska’s example and enact legal reforms that eliminate lawsuit abuse. The state motto, after all, is “North to the Future.”

Sarah Palin
Eleventh Governor of Alaska

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