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January 17, 2005

Geoff Boehm & Joanne Doroshow have a Roast at Tillinghast-Towers Perrin's expense

Oddly enough, for some reason layers are against tort reform, limits on jury verdicts, and puppies.  We are still checking our sources on that last one, but the other two are conclusive.  Money alone, and not the people trapped in the middle make lawyers fight for these "rights."  This press release has been posted only to show the propaganda tactics that trial lawyers would love for you to believe.  The bottom line is not whether or not the reports had a few figures that were added in, but rather, there is something wrong with the system.

The following is a press release that reflects the author's opinions:

Tillinghast Finally Admits in Report: Tort System Cost Figures 'Do Not Reflect Costs Of The Legal System'

Facing mounting criticism over its misleadingly-titled annual report, U.S. Tort Costs, Tillinghast-Towers Perrin, an insurance industry-consulting firm, has finally admitted that its annual "Trends and Findings on the Cost of the U.S. Tort System" has nothing to do with the costs of litigation, courts, or the legal system.

Tillinghast's latest report, which puts tort system costs at the wildly-inflated figure of $246 billion, states for the first time, "the costs tabulated in this study are not a reflection of litigated claims or of the legal system." Rather, they are based on figures generated from the wasteful and inefficient insurance industry, even going so far as to include its administrative costs. Rather than removing such costs from its analysis after being repeatedly criticized for including them, Tillinghast states, "Our inclusion of such costs has been questioned since those costs are not directly related to the disposition of specific tort claims. We take no position on the efficiency of the insurance industry's administrative expenses."

Tillinghast has never made any attempt to examine jury verdicts, settlements, lawyers' fees or any costs that might actually be considered part of the legal system. Indeed, it even includes insurance claims "with no suits filed." Tillinghast also admits, "No attempt has been made to measure or quantify the benefits of the tort system. This study makes no conclusion that the costs of the U.S. tort system outweigh the benefits, or vice versa."

The company's figures have promoted by business groups and their political allies, like President Bush, as evidence that costs of the system are "too high" and as a justification for weakening the civil justice system. It now appears clear that these figures have no connection whatsoever to the costs of litigation.

J. Robert Hunter, director of insurance for the Consumer Federation of America and co-founder of Americans for Insurance Reform, said, "Tillinghast's numbers are wrong and are entirely inappropriate for demonstrating either total costs of the U.S. tort system, or cost trends over time. Policymakers and opinion leaders should consider these figures highly unreliable."

Joanne Doroshow, executive director for the Center for Justice & Democracy, stated, "Tillinghast's figures are so misleading that they are completely irrelevant to any discussion of the civil justice system."

   For further information see http://centerjd.org

Contact:  Geoff Boehm or Joanne Doroshow, 212-267-2801, both of the Center for Justice & Democracy

Posted by Tom Troceen