Lex Machina Releases 2023 Torts Litigation Report

November 09, 2023

The trend of torts case filings has remained fairly steady over the past decade with a spike in 2019 driven by mass torts, while various subsets of torts cases have exhibited differing fluctuations


Menlo Park, CA — Lex Machina, a LexisNexis company, today releases its annual Torts Litigation Report. The report examines trends in torts litigation in federal district courts and appellate courts. Focusing on the three-year period from 2020 to 2022, it surveys emerging trends in case filings, venues, judges, law firms, attorneys, parties, timing metrics, case resolutions, findings, and damages. The report often focuses on different sets of data, e.g., filtering cases in order to provide analytics on general torts cases, torts cases excluding mass torts, motor vehicle cases, premises liability cases, and medical malpractice cases filed in the federal district courts, along with torts cases docketed in the federal appellate courts.

“The torts litigation report is always a fascinating report to produce, because it shines a light on the changing trends and patterns evidenced in the various subsets of torts cases Lex Machina tracks,” said Karen Chadwick, Lex Machina’s torts legal data expert and editor of the report. “By filtering and focusing on these different subsets of cases, we obtain a data-driven understanding of the broader picture of torts litigation as it has evolved over time.”

Highlights from the report include:

  • In 2022, 14,376 torts cases were litigated in federal district courts, the lowest number of cases filed in any year over the past decade aside from 2013 and 2016.
  • In the three-year period from 2020 to 2022, the highest number of torts cases was filed in the Southern District of Texas, while Judge Barbier from the Eastern District of Louisiana was the most active judge for torts cases.
  • In the three-year period from 2020 to 2022, Walmart Inc. was the most active defendant who was not a governmental entity.
  • For torts cases that were appealed to a federal appellate court and terminated from 2020 to 2022 with a decision on the merits of the appeal, 18% were ultimately reversed.
  • $3.4 billion in total damages were awarded as General Compensatory Damages in 234 cases from 2020 to 2022.

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

Register here for a copy of the report: https://pages.lexmachina.com/2023-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 11,300 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 20 federal practice areas and a rapidly growing number of state courts. Lex Machina allows law firms and companies to anticipate the behaviors and outcomes that different legal strategies will produce, enabling them to win cases and close business.
Lex Machina was named one of “Legal Tech’s Most Promising Solution Providers” (CIO Review Awards 2022), “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 www.lexmachina.com.