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Chamber of Commerce Releases Ranking of State Liability Systems

March 8, 2005

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released its annual ranking of state liability systems, shedding light on the economic harms caused in states across the country by legal systems gone awry, reported the Wall Street Journal.

The Chamber’s rankings, based on survey responses from senior corporate attorney’s on how "reasonable and fair" they believe state legal systems are, pit Delaware, Nebraska, North Dakota, Virginia and Iowa among the most reasonable and fair, while Mississippi, West Virginia, Alabama, Louisiana and Illinois rank at the bottom.

Some 81 percent of those surveyed said their companies’ business decisions are affected by a state’s litigation environment. Although President Bush recently signed into law the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, more has yet to be done. As the Chamber survey suggests, real tort reform is coming at the state level.

According to the Journal, the Georgia legislature passed a comprehensive tort reform bill a few weeks ago. Legislation is pending in Oklahoma and Missouri. Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is also preparing a tort-reform package. Prospects are good that Illinois and West Virginia will consider reform this year.

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