Looking to determine the trends for tort litigation in federal courts? Need to know how many cases are being filed, where the cases are landing, which judges are involved, which law firms and parties are involved, timelines for important court events, case resolutions, and damage awards? Want to know what the competition is doing? Lex Machina® just published its November 2020 “Torts Litigation Report” showing recent tort activity (as defined in the report) and trends in federal courts, with data from 2010 through September 30, 2020. The report also tracks some data for cases caused by COVID-19.
The report breaks down certain case types for the relevant periods to show statistics like the number of related torts case filings, the number of case filings caused by COVID-19, districts with the most tort filings (broken down by category), district judges with the most tort filings (broken down by category), the most active law firms representing plaintiffs and defendants (respectively), the most active defendants by cases filed, time to termination, actual or likely case resolutions, negligence findings breakdowns, total torts damages awarded, total torts damages by type awarded, and most active expert witnesses by admission orders.
Some of the more interesting statistics show a marked increase in tort filings from 2016 to 2019. For tracked COVID cases, the filings increased dramatically from Q1 to Q3 2020. The Eastern District of Louisiana had the most tort filings from 2015 to 2019. Judge Carl J. Barbier is handling the most tort filings there. The District of New Jersey came in third behind the Southern District of Florida. For the cases tracked, the federal courts awarded $1,547,599,833.14 in damages in 2019 (excluding fees and interest), down from $1,827,241,108.41 in 2019. The report is a must-read for federal court practitioners who want the inside track on federal tort litigation activity and trends.
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The information contained in this post may not reflect the most current developments, as the subject matter is extremely fluid and constantly changing. Readers are also cautioned against taking any action based on information contained herein without first seeking advice from professional legal counsel.