NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Mississippi: Land of Pleasant Living -- For Tort Lawyers

July 10, 2002

Mississippi should be ashamed of itself, observers say. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has given it the dubious distinction of being the home of "jackpot justice" and the worst example in the nation of tort lawyers run amok.

  • Since 1995, seven separate juries have imposed $100-plus million verdicts.
  • The record is so bad that companies and industries -- some of which haven't even come under scrutiny -- are fleeing the state in terror.
  • On May 6, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists denounced Mississippi for driving its practitioners out of business and out of state.
  • During the last half of the 1990s, when other states were chalking up per capita growth rates averaging 14.2 percent, Mississippi's growth couldn't make it out of single digits.

By comparison, among those states that treated business well, growth was stronger. The top 10 states in a Harris survey questioning senior litigators at public corporations earned an average 15.72 percent growth score, beating the average, and smashing the bottom ten, which managed just 11.63 percent.

Source: Todd G. Buchholz (Enso Capital Management), "The High Cost of 'Jackpot Justice,'" Wall Street Journal, July 8, 2002.


Browse more articles on Government Issues