Some good news about Wisconsin’s business climate courtesy of a California-based free market think tank. When it comes to the burden imposed by personal injury lawsuits and related litigation, Wisconsin fares well in the latest rankings by the Pacific Research Institute, where Lawrence McQuillan is director of business and economic studies. “It matters, because the tort climate is an important factor in the overall business climate of a state,” said McQuillan Paul Gagliardi with the trial lawyers group Wisconsin Association for Justice said the state has never been known for frivolous litigation. “You’re ill advised if you file cases that are without merit,” said Gagliardi. “This a pretty upfront state, we leave the door open to the courthouse, which you should do. But if you abuse that priviledge there are significant consequences.” PRI ranked Wisconsin ninth in the “tort threat.” McQuillan said the state has good caps on non-economic damages in medical malpractice suits, although Gagliardi points out that such punitive damages are not allowed at all in Wisconsin. One note of caution from McQuillan – the legislature has not addressed tort reform in recent years, which could allow the state’s rankings to slip. “You haven’t done a whole lot in terms of tort reform to keep that position strong going into the future. So you might end up becoming the next green pasture for plaintiffs lawyers if more tort reform isn’t passed by the state legislature.”