Lex Machina's first Product Liability Litigation Report surveys and summarizes key trends that have emerged over the years, going back to 2009. The report showcases the power of Legal Analytics, covering topics that include:
• Filing trends
• Top districts and judges
• Top law firms
• Legal findings
• Case resolutions and timing
Key trends and highlights from the report include:
• MDL Associated cases comprise the overwhelming majority (more than 97%) of cases filed for Medical Device / Pharmaceutical cases from 2009 - 2016.
• Asbestos case filings in district court decreased from tens of thousands per year during 2009 - 2011 to merely hundreds per year during 2012 - 2016.
Districts & Judges
• The Central District of California, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and the District of New Jersey saw the most filings of non-MDL Associated Product Liability cases from 2009 to 2017. Over this period, the District of New Jersey and the Central District of California saw the most filings of non-MDL Associated Product Liability cases involving Medical Device / Pharmaceutical products.
• Generally, plaintiffs in non-MDL Associated Product Liability cases are represented by smaller firms that specialize in product liability litigation. Large national firms are the top firms representing defendants in both MDL and non-MDL Associated cases.
Findings and Case Resolutions
• Almost all Product Liability cases involving Medical Device / Pharmaceutical products are settled or are resolved procedurally, short of a decision on the merits. When product liability issues are decided on the merits in these cases, defendants prevail about 90% of the time.
• Findings on Summary Judgment make up the overwhelming majority of Product Liability Findings in cases involving Medical Device / Pharmaceutical products.
• Cases litigated through to court award of damages are rare in Product Liability cases involving Medical Device / Pharmaceutical products.
• Court-approved class action settlements constitute the largest monetary awards for Medical Device / Pharmaceutical cases on a per-case basis.