Lex Machina Releases 2022 Torts Litigation Report

August 25, 2022

While torts case filings (excluding mass torts) have remained fairly steady over the past 10 years, motor vehicle and premises liability cases have increased over the same period

Menlo Park, CA Lex Machina®, a LexisNexis company, today releases its Torts Litigation Report. The report examines torts litigation trends in federal district and appellate courts. It focuses on the five-year period from 2017 to 2021 and surveys emerging trends in case filings, active venues, judges, law firms, parties, timing metrics, case resolutions, findings, and damages. The report frequently focuses on key subsets of the data, in order to provide analytics on cases involving Federal Torts Claims Act, medical malpractice, motor vehicle, and premises liability cases.

“The data and analytics show that the increase in motor vehicle and premises liability cases filed has been rising steadily in recent years," said Karen Chadwick, Lex Machina's torts legal data expert. "Some of this increase is likely attributed to the rising costs of vehicles and medical care that propel these cases into federal court."

Findings from the report include:

  • In 2021, 16,199 torts cases were filed.
  • Torts case filings (excluding mass torts) have remained relatively steady over the past ten years.
  • Motor vehicle and premises liability cases have both steadily increased over the past ten years.
  • Plaintiffs filed high numbers of cases against cruise companies in the Southern District of Florida, often involving premises liability or negligence allegations.
  • Retail establishments were also involved in high numbers of premises liability cases, due in part to having many locations open to the public.
  • The DOJ is the top defense counsel on account of the numerous claims filed under the FTCA, many of which involved motor vehicle accidents with postal workers or medical malpractice cases against Veterans Affairs.
  • Torts appellate cases that terminated in the last five years with a decision on the merits of the appeal had a 20% reversal rate.
  • There were high amounts of damages awarded on default judgment in torts cases over the last five years, a large proportion of which were related to the 1983 attack on the US Embassy in Beirut where default damages were awarded against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Lex Machina’s reports and software enable practitioners to devise data-driven litigation strategies. The metrics in this report may help readers decide who to pursue as clients, whether to pursue a particular motion, or when to settle. This research supplements traditional legal research and anecdotal data for a competitive edge in litigation.

Register here for a copy of the report: https://pages.lexmachina.com/2022-Torts-Report_LP.html


About LexisNexis Legal & Professional
LexisNexis Legal & Professional® provides legal, regulatory, and business information and analytics that help customers increase their productivity, improve decision-making, achieve better outcomes, and advance the rule of law around the world. As a digital pioneer, the company was the first to bring legal and business information online with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. LexisNexis Legal & Professional, which serves customers in more than 150 countries with 10,500 employees worldwide, is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers.

About Lex Machina
Lex Machina fundamentally changes how companies and law firms compete in the business and practice of law. The company provides strategic insights on judges, lawyers, law firms, parties, and other critical information across 18 federal practice areas and a rapidly growing number of state courts. Lex Machina allows law firms and companies to predict the behaviors and outcomes that different legal strategies will produce, enabling them to win cases and close business.
Lex Machina was named “Greater Bay Area Top Workplaces 2022” (The San Francisco Chronicle Top Workplaces in the Bay Area 2022), “Legal Tech Company of the Year 2021" (CIO Review, 2021), “2021 Legal Technology Trailblazer” (National Law Journal Trailblazer Awards, 2021), Winner of the “Media Excellence” Award for Analytics/Big Data (13th Annual Media Excellence Award, 2021). Based in Silicon Valley, Lex Machina is part of LexisNexis, a leading global provider of legal, regulatory, and business information and analytics. For more information, please visit https://lexmachina.com/.