The Institutes

The Numbers On Florida’s Legal System Expenses

 Friday, December 2, 2022

 Tampa Bay Business Journal

Florida has earned a reputation as a litigious state with some of the busiest courthouses in the nation, and a new report shows that the dollars flowing through the Sunshine State’s legal system dwarf other states by a wide margin.

Costs and compensation, or the total dollar amount changing hands as a result of litigation and defense expenses or damages paid at the conclusion of a lawsuit, exceeded $40 billion in Florida in 2020, according to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce analysis of tort costs in the U.S.

Florida ranks second only to California’s $60.2 billion in total tort costs, but in terms of costs as a percentage of gross domestic product, no other state comes close. Tort costs amount to 3.63% of Florida’s GDP; in California, that figure is 2%.

Florida is a glaring outlier when compared to the top 10 most expensive states for tort costs as a percentage of GDP, which range between 2.5% and 2.9%, according to the study.

Florida is also neck and neck with New York as the second most expensive state relative to population.