Tort Laws on Trial: Lawsuit Liability Measures, 2004
Publication Date: March 2006
Publisher(s): National Institute on Money in State Politics (U.S.)
Author(s): Rachel Weiss
During the 2003-2004 election cycle, 32 committees in seven states raised $101.3 million to support or oppose lawsuit liability ballot measures. In five states - Florida, Nevada, Oregon, Texas and Wyoming - the battles focused on medical malpractice laws. Committees in these states raised $72.6 million to support or oppose the initiatives.
In Colorado, homebuilders and plaintiffs' attorneys squared off over an initiative to roll back legislative changes to restrict lawsuits against the construction industry. These committees raised more than $4.9 million. California committees raised $23.7 million for a fight over who should be able to sue a company under the state's unfair competition laws.
More than 40 businesses and individuals contributed $9.8 million to committees in multiple states. Insurance companies contributed 50 percent of all money given across state lines. State Farm and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce were the leading contributors giving in more than one state.