Today, living in Florida can be a wonderful state to reside in but unfortunately it is one of the highest civil litigation states in the country. Most consumer believe that we are living in a "Sue Crazy" society and we are...The legal system is out of control and the courts sometimes do not obey their own rules. Statistically speaking an individual has a three times greater risk of being legally sued as compared to being admitted into a hospital for accident or sickness. Over 19,000,000 lawsuits are filed annually, generating over $132,000,000,000 in attorney fees and court costs. Americans will sue each other at the slightest provocation. These are the sorts of stories that fill schoolteachers and doctors and Little League coaches with dread that the slightest mistake or offense to an angry or addled parent or patient will drag them into litigation hell, months or years of mounting legal fees and acrimony and uncertainty, with the remote but scary risk of losing everything. And while lawsuits can be a force for good, they are also changing and complicating the lives of millions of American professionals in ways that confound common sense and cast a shadow over a system that can, at its best, offer people relief and redress from legitimate grievances. Many of these cases do not belong in court. But clients and lawyers sue anyway, because they hope they will get lucky and win a jackpot from a system that allows sympathetic juries to award plaintiffs not just real damages they say, but the cost of doctor's fees or wages lost, but millions more for impossible-to-measure "pain and suffering" and highly arbitrary "punitive damages."
By Stuart Taylor Jr. and Evan Thomas - Newsweek - Dec. 15, 2003 issue.