A conservative think tank ranks Iowa as the tenth most “business-friendly” state in the nation when it comes to the decisions Iowa judges and juries make in “personal injury” lawsuits over claims of medical malpractice, workplace injuries and product defects. Lawrence McQuillan is director of business and economic studies for the Pacific Research Institute, the conservative think tank that published the study.

“You really do see an impact in the labor market and in terms of job growth in the best tort states,” he says, “because businesses want to expand and locate to the states where they don’t feel like they’re going to be sued out of business.” Tim Semelroth, a lawyer from Cedar Rapids who is a former president of the Iowa Association for Justice, disagrees.

“When they’re saying that Iowa’s tort laws are beneficial to business what they’re saying is that there’s nothing about the way that Iowa’s justice system is run that favors the injured worker, necessarily,” Semelroth says. The study ranked Alaska as the most business-friendly state when it comes to personal injury lawsuits.

New Jersey was the ranked as the state where judges and juries were the least business-friendly when deciding lawsuits.