American businesses file four times as many lawsuits as do individuals represented by trial attorneys, and they are penalized by judges much more often for pursuing frivolous litigation, according to a report issued today by Public Citizen.
The survey of case filings in two states (Arkansas and Mississippi) and two local jurisdictions (Cook County, Ill., and Philadelphia, Pa.) in 2001 found that businesses were 3.3 to 5.8 times more likely to file lawsuits than were individuals. This comes as businesses and politicians are campaigning to limit citizens rights to sue over everything from malpractice damages to defective products. By way of comparison, the number of American consumers (281 million) outnumbers the number of businesses in America (7 million) 40 times. To read the report, click here.