A conservative California-based research group has produced a state-by-state study it titles the U.S. Tort Liability Index 2010. It's the kind of group that would publish this study with a forward by Sarah Palin.
So how do Washington and Idaho fare on this index, which looks at the overall "outputs" that the institute say are associated with each state's specific court and liability circumstances?
The best states, the index reports, are Alaska, Hawaii and North Carolina. New Jersey, New York and Florida bring up the rear. So what is really being measured?
A release with the index says the index finds which states have the highest monetary tort losses and tort
litigation risks, meaning they had more costly and riskier business climates due
to larger plaintiff awards, larger plaintiff settlements, more lawsuits, or some
combination of the three. Those criteria are in fact developed through a total of 13 criteria the study says are the way to measure tort impact.
Idaho ranks seventh best, according to that system. Washington state ranks 20th worst (or 31st best) on the tort index.
This is the third year the San Francisco-based institute has published its tort index.
For just a quick overview of the state rankings in the 2010 index, go here.