Liability Insurance Squeeze

Archive Report

Signs of Crisis

Professional Malpractice Suits on the Rise

Trying to break into the school from the roof, the 18-year-old youth fell through a skylight. Paralyzed by the fall, the would-be burglar sued the school. Rather than risk the possibility that a jury might impose an even higher payment, the Redding, Calif., school's insurance company paid the youth $260,000 plus $1,500 a month for life in an out-of-court settlement.

That award is but one example of a growing number of liability suits being brought successfully against professionals, municipalities and businesses all over the country. And while the case may appear to many to be an egregious abuse of justice, both the attribution of fault and the size of the award are no longer exceptional. As a result, ...

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