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Tort and Medical Malpractice Cases are Only a Small Part of Our Civil Justice System


The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) gathers data on civil court filings in state court systems throughout the country. Cases in which parties sue for injuries, known as “tort” cases, represent only 3.98% of civil state court filings; and medical malpractice cases represent only 0.17% of all state civil caseloads. These statistics are consistent with NCSC data for reported filing and cases over the previous four years.

The number of cases filed is down and the number of jury trials in state courts is also down. The percentage of tort cases resolved by jury trial is 1.48%, and again this data is consistent with trends over the last four years.

The discussion taking place in Congress and in various state legislative houses, implying that tort or malpractice lawsuits are clogging our courthouses is, at best, false, if not an outright lie. Many of the courtrooms in our States are plagued with suits involving businesses suing other businesses; involving the same parties who are lobbying Congress and the State houses to try to convince our legislators to restrict access by injured citizens to their right to a jury trial. It is a farce. Informed consumer/citizens need to be aware of these false assertions and diligent to prevent corporations and the politicians in their pockets from restricting access to courtrooms in our country.