(The Center Square) — The economic impact of “excessive torts” in Georgia averages $5,592 yearly for a family of four, an increase from $4,855 the previous year.
That’s according to a new study The Perryman Group conducted for Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse. The review also found the “tort tax” resulted in the loss of 137,658 jobs statewide, up from 123,900 the previous year.
“Georgia’s legal climate has steadily worsened over the years,” National Federation of Independent Business State Director Hunter Loggins said in an announcement. “That’s bad news for everyone, but it puts small businesses in a particularly tough spot. Main Street businesses aren’t sitting on piles of cash, and they can’t afford teams of lawyers to flick away nuisance claims and bogus accusations.
“The cost of defending themselves against a single frivolous lawsuit could put a small business out of business,” Loggins added. “We need our legislators to support efforts to create a legal landscape that treats everyone fairly.”
While Loggins was complimentary of Republican Gov. Brian Kemp and his “pledge to make stopping lawsuit abuse a priority in this year’s session of the General Assembly,” spokespeople for the governor did not respond to a request for comment.
Last year, the American Tort Reform Foundation said the “Peach State” maintained its position as the No. 1 “Judicial Hellhole” in the country. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas tied with Georgia at the top of the list.
Georgia remained atop the rankings “thanks to another year of high nuclear verdicts and liability-expanding decisions by the Georgia Supreme Court,” the report said. “Neither the judiciary nor the legislative branches are willing to take responsibility for the state’s poor civil justice system.”