A new report found that the costs and compensation in the U.S. tort system totaled $429 billion in 2016, according to Law.com.
“Costs and Compensation of the U.S. Tort System,” which was written by economists at the Brattle Group and released by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), used insurance data to approximate how much it cost to operate the U.S. tort system that year. The study also found that only 57 percent of that money goes to plaintiff compensation before contingency fees are taken out. The $429 billion figure equates to 2.3 of U.S. gross domestic product.
“Historically, we have the most expensive tort system in the world, but cost does not equal value when little more than half of each dollar goes to plaintiffs,” said ILR President Lisa A. Rickard. “Our tort system totaled about $3,330 per household—or almost double the average cost of putting gas in your car—an alarming trend when you consider that over 40 cents per dollar go to attorneys’ fees and other costs.”