Insurance Information Institute today published a paper Bob Hartwig and I wrote about the state of tort inflation in the United States. The short story – things are benign at the moment, but could heat up in a hurry.
- Tort costs per person have been stuck at about $830 per person the past couple of years.
- Securities class action settlements rose to $3.8 billion last year, but remain far below their peak at the popping of the stock bubble.
- Malpractice costs have fallen, in nominal terms, four years running, a sign that malpractice caps work.
The not so good:
- Court decisions in Georgia and Illinois threaten malpractice caps, and this could signal a new judicial trend.
- The percentage of firms that expect to be sued is rising.
- The plaintiff bar continues to search for “the next asbestos” or “the next Big Tobacco.” Current possibilities include Chinese drywall and global warming.