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The cost of torts, from the Wall Street Journal (subscription required):

For 20 years, Tillinghast, an insurance-industry consulting firm, has been putting an often-criticized dollar value on what it calls the cost of the nation’s tort system. And it says those costs will rise sharply in the next few years.

The latest study puts the cost in 2004 at $260 billion, almost equal to the annual sales of Wal-Mart — nearly $900 for every man, woman and small child in the nation. It projects that cost will rise to nearly $315 billion by 2007, outpacing the expansion of the overall economy.

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