The scale of asbestos personal injury litigation provides another example of the scale of the mass tort litigation industry. One could look at many metrics, not the least of which is that relatively modern asbestos claiming is now about 50 years old (but there were workers comp cases and other cases dating well back into the 1900s). In today’s asbestos personal injury litigation, increasing focus is placed on the patterns used by different plaintiff firms in naming defendants. Some plaintiff firms are relatively selective, but some others are not. Some of the impacts are nicely quantified in an open access January 19, 2018 Mealey’s commentary by Jim Lowery, titled “The Scourge Of Over-Naming In Asbestos Litigation: The Costs To Litigants And The Impact On Justice.”
Jim’s commentary provides a variety of calculations and assumptions about the impacts. One example follows, but the full article needs to be read.
“Although not every defendant in our example will have to jump through each of these hoops, many will. A defendant that stays in the case through the summary judgment stage could easily have spent at least $20,000 to defend the case in which they should never have been named in the first place. In our example, assuming just 60 of the 118 named companies were over-named and went through the summary judgment stage, this means that at least $1.2 million of defense and transactional costs were unnecessarily incurred to defend one case.“