Does Business Really Need Lawsuit Reform?


In Sunday’s Albany Times-Union, a young lawyer, John Vero, Esq., claims that businesses are leaving New York State because of the threat posed to such companies by personal injury lawsuits, in his article entitled “Business needs lawsuit reform”. In the article, the author claims that “New York could create 86,000 new jobs for each tort reform or create more than 720,000 jobs total for all nine reforms.” Even more, “lawsuit reform could raise production of goods and services by $17 billion, increase annual tax revenues by over a billion dollars and reduce health care costs by $11.4 billion per year.” WOW!

These are eye-popping statistics cited by the author of the article. Unfortunately, the claims made by the author are nothing more than fiction and designed to feed the popular myth that personal injury lawsuits are depriving the good citizens of this state of their hard-earned money. As Shakespeare wrote, “first, let’s kill the lawyers”.

Let’s look at the real facts from real business owners. When asked why business owners are leaving New York State, the answers provided by business owners, large and small, had nothing to do with personal injury lawsuits or the alleged cost of such litigation. The number one answer of business owners for leaving New York, drum roll please…TAXES. Big shocker there. In most cases, personal injury litigation did not show up in the top ten among the reasons that business owners are leaving New York.

Then why are so many businesses leaving New York and why are there so few new businesses coming to this state? EXCESSIVE TAXES! Not only are the taxes higher in New York than any other state, but the number of taxes imposed by the state is easily the most in the nation. New York bleeds business owners with so-many different taxes that even an accountant can’t keep track them and so what happens? Businesses leave in mass to southern states, like Texas, Florida and North Carolina, that have no state income tax and a friendly business environment free of the excessive taxation imposed by New York. It’s really that simple.

In his article, Mr. Vero claims that “Texas, for example, has enjoyed a resurgence in its economy as a direct result of its 2004 tort reform efforts.” What crap! If the author had bothered to compare the taxes of New York to Texas, he would have realized that tort reform has nothing to do with the “resurgence” of the Texas economy. Instead, the clueless author hopes that his readers will blindly accept his reliance on the studies of tort reform companies, such as the Pacific Research Institute, that are paid to promote a tort reform agenda.

Vero is ignorant in the central premise of his article. If he had bothered to ask actual business owners why they are leaving New York, instead of relying on bogus studies, he would get his facts state: personal injury litigation has nothing to do with the exodus of business owners from New York. If you don’t believe me, ask a small business owner why he or she is moving to North Carolina or Texas. Mr Vero would obviously be surprised by the answer.

According to his article, Mr. Vero authored his article for NextGen Workbytes which is “learning the realities of the workplace”. Apparently, Mr. Vero knows very little about the “realities of the workplace” as evident from his article. Get the facts before accepting any of the fiction advanced by this author.