New Research on Lawsuit Trends Headlines Chamber's Legal Reform Summit

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October 23, 2013

Asbestos, Class-Action, Data Privacy, and False Claims Act Lawsuits Top List

WASHINGTON, D.C. –The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) today identified asbestos, class-action, data privacy, and False Claims Act lawsuits among the leading lawsuit trends, in a paper released at its 14th Annual Legal Reform Summit. The first-of-its-kind large-scale survey of lawsuits, The New Lawsuit Ecosystem – Trends, Targets, and Players, details litigation trends, and the growing alliance between state attorneys general and plaintiffs’ lawyers.

“This broad look at the lawsuit ecosystem demonstrates that litigation abuse remains a multi-billion dollar industry with plaintiffs’ lawyers constantly searching for new profit centers,” said Lisa A. Rickard, president of ILR. “Abusive lawsuits rarely benefit anyone other than the lawyers who file them, and drain millions of dollars from business expansion and the creation of new jobs.” 

The New Lawsuit Ecosystem also identifies the industries most frequently targeted by emerging theories of liability, and for the first time names the individual plaintiffs’ lawyers behind the litigation.

At the Summit, ILR also released research related to False Claims Act reforms at the state and federal levels, closing loopholes for class action abuse, making the case for state-based legal reforms, and third-party litigation financing in Australia.

At the Summit, ILR honored key individuals and organizations who are working to improve America’s litigation environment with its annual Legal Reform Awards.

In addition, today’s Summit was held in conjunction with ILR’s 15th anniversary.

“Over the last 15 years, we made great progress in stabilizing our broken legal system, but we must remain vigilant as certain problems have persisted and new ones have emerged,” said Rickard. “From challenges in state legislatures and taking on jackpot jurisdictions, to combating an explosion of arbitrary federal enforcement activity, only by remaining proactive and persistent can we continue to heal the lawsuit system.”