2.3% decrease in state’s unemployment rate possible; tort reform must be enacted
TRENTON, N.J. – Tort reform would bring a welcome infusion of cash and jobs into New Jersey’s struggling economy, according to a report issued by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform.
New Jersey could save as much as $1.7 billion if comprehensive tort reform is enacted, according to the study, which measured New Jersey’s tort activity index. A decrease in the state’s index would also yield between 35,000 and 94,000 new jobs, nudging the state’s unemployment rate down from 9.2% to 8.35% – 6.9%. Litigation costs would drop by as much as 21.5%.
“The correlation between tort reform and economic growth is evident,” said Marcus Rayner, executive director of the New Jersey Lawsuit Reform Alliance. “This study demonstrates that the economic growth New Jersey so desperately needs can be spurred with common-sense tort reform.
“$1.7 billion reinvested in our economy will help put people back to work and help New Jersey reclaim its economic footing. Civil justice reform is a way to capture the money we waste on lawyer’s fees and litigation costs – without raising taxes or cutting essential services.”
A state’s tort index is comprised of the number of tort claims filed annually, the frequency of major verdict awards, and the concentration of attorneys practicing in the state.